AP NEWS

J. Alexander’s Holdings, Inc. Reports Results For Second Quarter Ended July 1, 2018

August 8, 2018

NASHVILLE, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug 8, 2018--J. Alexander’s Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: JAX) (the Company), owner and operator of a collection of restaurants which includes J. Alexander’s, Redlands Grill, Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill and selected other restaurants, today reported financial results for the second quarter ended July 1, 2018.

Second Quarter 2018 Highlights Compared to the Second Quarter of 2017

Net sales were $60,420,000, an increase of 3.8% from $58,216,000 achieved in the second quarter of 2017. For the J. Alexander’s/Grill restaurants, average weekly same store sales per restaurant (1) were $116,200, an increase of 1.9% from $114,000 reported in the second quarter of 2017. For the Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill restaurants, average weekly same store sales were $78,900, up 6.2% from $74,300 recorded in the second quarter of 2017. Pre-opening expense totaled $504,000 for the quarter ended July 1, 2018 compared to $10,000 during the second quarter of 2017, with the increase attributable to the timing of new restaurant openings. Income from continuing operations before income taxes was $2,203,000 for the second quarter of 2018 compared to income from continuing operations before income taxes of $42,000 for the corresponding quarter of 2017. The sharp increase in results for the most recent quarter was primarily due to a favorable swing in the quarterly valuation of the Black Knight Advisory Services, LLC (Black Knight) profits interest grant. For the second quarter of 2018, the Company realized income of $53,000 compared to a profits interest expense of $1,714,000 in the same quarter a year ago. The Black Knight profits interest grant was issued in October 2015 and requires a quarterly valuation. The non-cash expense (income) associated with this grant is being recognized over a three‐year vesting period which runs through October 6, 2018. It is calculated each quarter based upon the most recent valuation performed using the Black‐Scholes valuation model, with any cumulative change associated with the most recent valuation impacting the most recent quarter. Primarily due to the $11.15 per share closing price of the Company’s stock at the end of the most recent quarter, the grant’s valuation decreased from $6,684,000 at April 1, 2018 to $6,018,000 at July 1, 2018. The Company also incurred consulting fees of $205,000 under its management agreement with Black Knight for the most recent quarter compared to $174,000 in the second quarter of 2017. Net income for the second quarter of 2018 was $2,105,000, up from net income of $186,000 recorded for the comparable quarter of 2017. Basic and diluted earnings per share were $0.14 for the second quarter of 2018 compared to $0.01 for the second quarter of 2017. Adjusted EBITDA (2) rose 9.9% from $5,465,000 in the second quarter of 2017 to $6,007,000 in the second quarter of 2018. Restaurant Operating Profit Margin (3) as a percent of net sales was 12.5% in the most recent quarter compared to 12.1% for the second quarter of 2017. Cost of sales as a percentage of net sales in the second quarter of 2018 was 32.2% compared to 33.0% in the corresponding quarter of 2017.

(1)Average weekly same store sales per restaurant is computed by dividing total restaurant same store sales for the period by the total number of days all same store restaurants were open for the period to obtain a daily sales average. The daily same store sales average is then multiplied by seven to arrive at average weekly same store sales per restaurant. Days on which restaurants are closed for business for any reason other than scheduled closures on Thanksgiving and Christmas are excluded from this calculation. Sales and sales days used in this calculation and amounts of other “same store” figures in this release include only those for restaurants in operation at the end of the period which have been open for more than 18 months. Revenue associated with reduction in liabilities for gift cards, which is recognized in proportion to guest redemptions based on historical redemption rates and commonly referred to as gift card breakage, is not included in the calculation of average weekly same store sales per restaurant. Average weekly same store sales is computed from sales amounts that have been determined in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).

(2)Please refer to the financial information accompanying this release for our definition of and a reconciliation of the non‐GAAP financial measure Adjusted EBITDA to net income. Management uses Adjusted EBITDA to evaluate operating performance and the effectiveness of its business strategies.

(3)“ Restaurant Operating Profit Margin” is the ratio of Restaurant Operating Profit, a non‐GAAP financial measure, to net sales. Please refer to the financial information accompanying this release for our definition of and a reconciliation of the non‐GAAP financial measure Restaurant Operating Profit to Operating Income. Management uses Restaurant Operating Profit to measure operating performance at the restaurant level.

For the second quarter of 2018, the Company’s restaurant labor and related costs as a percentage of net sales were 31.1% compared to 30.8% of net sales in the second quarter of 2017. Other restaurant operating expenses were 19.8% of net sales in both the second quarter of 2018 and second quarter of 2017.

The Company’s operating income for the second quarter of 2018 was $2,334,000 compared to operating income of $215,000 for the second quarter of 2017.

The average weekly guest counts within the same store base of the Company’s J. Alexander’s/Grills collection were down 0.6% in the second quarter of 2018 compared to the second quarter of the prior year. Guest counts within the same store base at the Company’s Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill restaurants were up 6.2% for the second quarter of 2018 over the second quarter of 2017. With respect to average guest checks, which include alcoholic beverage sales, the average guest check within the J. Alexander’s/Grills same store base of restaurants during the second quarter of 2018 was $31.60, up 2.6% from $30.80 during the second quarter of 2017. The average guest check within the same store base of Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill restaurants reached $42.27 during the second quarter of 2018, up 0.1% from $42.23 recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2017.

On a consolidated basis, average weekly guest counts within the Company’s J. Alexander’s/Grills locations in the second quarter of 2018 were down 2.0% from the second quarter of 2017, while average weekly guest counts within the Company’s Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill locations increased 7.8% for the second quarter of 2018 compared to the second quarter of 2017. Average guest checks for the combined J. Alexander’s/Grills concepts rose 2.7% from $30.85 in the second quarter of 2017 to $31.69 for the second quarter of 2018. Average guest checks for the Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill restaurants decreased 0.6% from $42.17 in the second quarter of 2017 to $41.90 in the second quarter of 2018.

The effect of menu pricing for the second quarter of 2018 was estimated to be a 1.8% increase for the J. Alexander’s/Grills restaurants and a 1.9% increase for the Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill restaurants compared to the corresponding quarter of 2017. Deflation in food costs for the second quarter of 2018 was estimated to total 0.9% for the J. Alexander’s/Grills restaurants, with beef costs decreasing by an estimated 4.6% compared to the second quarter of 2017. For the Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill restaurants, deflation for the second quarter of 2018 was estimated to total 3.0%, with beef costs down by approximately 7.2% from the comparable quarter of 2017.

Chief Executive Officer’s Comments

“The second quarter of 2018 again reflected increases in average weekly same store sales for both of our restaurant groups,” Lonnie J. Stout II, President and Chief Executive Officer, said. “It was a solid quarter that included improvement not only at the top line, but also in several key operating areas. We were pleased with our overall performance.”

During the second quarter, Stout said the Company continued to execute strategies allowing it to build guest loyalty in both of its restaurant collections.

“We were encouraged that guest counts at our J. Alexander’s/Grill restaurants showed improvement over the first quarter’s performance. We realize, however, that further improvement is needed in the final half of 2018 and we remain tightly focused on making certain each guest visit is an outstanding experience.” Stout noted that the modest decrease in guest counts within the Company’s J. Alexander’s/Grills group during the second quarter of 2018 was significantly influenced by three specific locations. “From time to time, we will encounter situations that impact our traditional guest traffic patterns and require us to work that much harder to recapture or replace the business. Examples include the relocation of a major corporate presence within a specific market or, for limited periods of time, competitive intrusion of a new restaurant opened within a specific market. As we analyze our same store guest traffic, excluding three specific restaurants that have been subject to events similar to these examples, our performance for the second quarter of 2018 would have reflected a slight increase instead of the 0.6% decrease previously noted.”

Stout said the recent addition of lunch and brunch at several Stoney River locations in the last quarter has positively impacted guest traffic and sales of the restaurant group, but that the primary factor influencing the increase in average weekly same store sales per restaurant was organic growth in guest counts. “This collection has continued to show stronger than anticipated momentum, including our newer restaurants.”

The Company’s cost of sales decreased in the most recent quarter due principally to falling beef prices. Restaurant operating margins also showed improvement, rising 0.4% for the quarter ended July 1, 2018 over the same quarter a year earlier.

“We remain cautiously optimistic that the beef market will continue to perform within acceptable parameters,” Stout continued. “On balance, we continue to be encouraged by the performance of our newer restaurants in both operating groups, and look forward to announcing plans for additional locations as soon as leases are executed,” he added.

Highlights for the First Six Months of 2018

For the six months ended July 1, 2018, the Company posted net sales of $122,329,000, up 3.6% from $118,038,000 recorded in the first half of 2017. Within the J. Alexander’s/Grill restaurants, average weekly same store sales per restaurant were $118,100 for the six months ended July 1, 2018, an increase of 1.0% from $116,900 achieved in the same two quarters of 2017. For the Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill restaurants, average weekly same store sales per restaurant advanced 6.1% from $76,600 in the first six months of 2017 to $81,300 in the first half of 2018.

Income from continuing operations before income taxes for the six months ended July 1, 2018 was $4,045,000, up 9.8% from $3,683,000 reported for the same two quarters a year ago.

During the first half of 2018, the Black Knight profits interest grant resulted in non-cash profits interest expense of $1,854,000, an increase of 10.6% from profits interest expense of $1,676,000 reported in the same six months of 2017. For the first six months of 2018, the Company had consulting fees of $449,000 from its management agreement with Black Knight compared to $439,000 of expense in the first half of 2017.

The Company posted net income of $3,698,000 in the first six months of 2018, up 28.9% from $2,870,000 for the same two quarters of 2017. Adjusted EBITDA for the first two quarters of 2018 totaled $14,158,000, up 8.4% from $13,066,000 recorded in the first six months of 2017. Basic earnings per share and diluted earnings per share totaled $0.25 in the first half of 2018. In the comparable two quarters of 2017, basic earnings per share totaled $0.20 while diluted earnings per share totaled $0.19. See attached “Adjusted EBITDA Reconciliation” for our definition of Adjusted EBITDA and a reconciliation to net income.

Guest counts within the same store base of restaurants decreased by 1.4% within the J. Alexander’s/Grill restaurants for the first half of 2018, and increased 7.2% within the Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill restaurants during the same two quarters. The average guest check within the same store base at the combined J. Alexander’s/Grill restaurants increased 2.5% from $30.95 for the first six months of 2017 to $31.73 for the first half of 2018, while the Stoney River average guest check decreased by 0.8% from $42.94 in the first two quarters of 2017 to $42.58 for the first half of 2018. The effect of menu price changes for the first half of 2018 was estimated to be a 1.8% increase at the J. Alexander’s/Grill locations and a 1.7% increase at the Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill restaurants compared to the first six months of 2017.

Cost of sales as a percentage of net sales for the first two quarters of 2018 was 31.6% compared to 31.9% for the first six months of 2017. The estimated effect of inflation in food costs for the first half of 2018 was 1.0% for the J. Alexander’s/Grill restaurants, with beef costs declining by approximately 1.1% compared to the same six months a year earlier. For the Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill restaurants, deflation was an estimated 0.3%, including an estimated decrease of 2.7% in beef costs compared to the first half of 2017.

Restaurant Development

During the second quarter of 2018, the Company opened a new J. Alexander’s restaurant in King of Prussia, PA, marking the Company’s entry into Pennsylvania. The Company continued construction on a new Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill in Troy, MI. This new restaurant is expected to open in the fourth quarter of 2018. The Company anticipates opening three to four new restaurants in 2019, and will announce details once leases related to such sites have been executed.

Guidance For 2018 Unchanged

Our performance outlook is based on current information as of August 8, 2018. The Company does not expect to update its 2018 guidance before next quarter’s earnings release. However, the information on which the outlook is based is subject to change, and the Company may update its full business outlook or any portion thereof at any time for any reason. Based upon current information, the guidance for the 2018 fiscal year is the same as reported on May 3, 2018.

Conference Call

The Company will hold a conference call on Thursday, August 9, 2018, at 10 a.m., Central time to discuss its financial results for the second quarter ended July 1, 2018. The conference call can be accessed live over the phone by dialing 1‐877‐407‐0789 (Toll‐Free) or 1‐201‐689‐8562 (Toll/International). To access the call via the internet, go to J. Alexander’s website at http:// investor.jalexandersholdings.com or http://public.viavid.com/index.php?id=130771. A replay of the conference call will be available shortly following the conclusion of the call at http:// investor.jalexandersholdings.com and http://public.viavid.com/index.php?id=130771, as well as by dialing 1‐844‐512‐2921 or 1‐412‐317‐6671 and providing the access code 13682084. The replay will be accessible through August 16, 2018 via telephone and for 30 days on the internet.

About J. Alexander’s Holdings, Inc.

J. Alexander’s Holdings, Inc. is a collection of restaurants that focus on providing high quality food, outstanding professional service and an attractive ambiance. The Company presently operates 45 restaurants in 16 states. The Company has its headquarters in Nashville, TN.

For additional information, visit www.jalexandersholdings.com.

Forward‐Looking Statements

This press release issued by J. Alexander’s Holdings, Inc. contains forward‐looking statements, which include all statements that do not relate solely to historical or current facts, such as statements regarding our expectations, intentions or strategies regarding the future. These forward‐looking statements are based on management’s beliefs, as well as assumptions made by, and information currently available to, management. Because such statements are based on expectations as to future financial and operating results and are not statements of fact, actual results may differ materially from those projected and are subject to a number of known and unknown risks and uncertainties, including the Company’s ability to maintain satisfactory guest count levels and maintain or increase sales and operating margins in its restaurants under varying economic conditions; the effect of higher commodity prices, unemployment and other economic factors on consumer demand; increases in food input costs or product shortages and the Company’s response to them; the number and timing of new restaurant openings and the Company’s ability to operate them profitably; competition within the casual dining industry and within the markets in which our restaurants are located; adverse weather conditions in regions in which the Company’s restaurants are located; factors that are under the control of third parties, including government agencies; as well as other risks and uncertainties described under the headings “Forward‐Looking Statements,” “Risk Factors” and other sections of the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10‐K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 15, 2018 and subsequent filings. The Company undertakes no obligation to update any forward‐looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

This article has been truncated. You can see the rest of this article by visiting http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180808005780/en.

AP RADIO
Update hourly