Buffalo Wild Wings Expands to Middle East, Puerto Rico

The company has signed franchise agreements to open locations across the Middle East and in Puerto Rico over the next few years; it also plans to open 70 new locations in the United States and Canada this year.

Buffalo Wild Wings, Inc., will soon have locations in the Middle East and Puerto Rico.

During the company’s second-quarter earnings call on Tuesday, CEO Sally Smith said that the company recently signed two franchising agreements: one to open up to 22 locations across six countries in the Middle East over the next six years—and the other for four locations in Puerto Rico over the next four years.

The company also plans to open more than 70 new locations in the United States and Canada before the end of this year, some of which will be company-owned and some franchised. In addition, the company plans to buy nine of its franchised restaurants during the third quarter. There are currently 837 Buffalo Wild Wings locations across 48 states and in Canada.

Meanwhile, for its second quarter that ended on June 24, Buffalo Wild Wings’ earnings totaled $11.7 million, or 62 cents per share, up 9.3 percent from the same period a year ago. Revenue for the quarter increased 29.7 percent to $238.7 million compared to the same quarter last year.

Despite increased earnings, the company missed the expectations of Wall Street analysts by 6 cents per share. The company also lowered its full-year earnings forecast because of rising commodity costs, including a jump in chicken wing prices. It now expects to achieve 15 percent to 20 percent year-over-year growth in earnings—for a total of $3.13 to $3.27 per share. It previously predicted earnings growth of at least 20 percent.

“The elevated commodity costs that we are experiencing . . . [have] created short-term pressure on our second-quarter net earnings,” Smith said during the earnings call. “We’re responding with an intense focus on sales-driving initiatives, menu-pricing strategies, and marketing and operations programs to maintain our top-line performance and drive higher bottom-line performance in 2012 and long term.”

Golden Valley-based Buffalo Wild Wings is one of Minnesota’s 40-largest public companies based on revenue, which totaled $784.4 million in 2011.

Earlier this month, Smith was inducted into Twin Cities Business’ Minnesota Business Hall of Fame. To read about how Smith has transformed the company during her 16-year tenure, click here.