Weather keeps Potbelly customers away

Shares of the sandwich chain drops by 8% in Wednesday trading after an earnings report misses expectations.

By InvestorPlace Feb 19, 2014 3:48PM

A Potbelly Corp. sandwich & drink cup in Washington, DC, on Friday (© Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)By Christopher Freeburn


Sandwich chain Potbelly (PBPB) reported lower-than-expected fourth-quarter sales on Tuesday, sending shares tumbling 8 percent in Wednesday trading.


Potbelly reported quarterly revenue of $74.8 million, up 1.7 percent from the year-ago period but shy of the analyst outlook for $76 million on the top line.


Meanwhile, PBPB posted a loss of $3.68 million vs. actually earning $18.5 million in the year-ago period.


Adjusted earnings of 6 cents per share, which were down 50 percent, did top expectations of 4 cents.


Same-store sales were higher by just 0.7 percent year-over-year factoring out 2012's extra week, which the company blamed on wintry weather. Also, expenses were higher by 14 percent to $81.4 million.


All told, 42 new Potbelly locations opened in fiscal 2013. PBPB expects to open between 40 and 48 new locations this year.


Despite Wednesday's losses, PBPB still remains 45 percent above its October IPO pricing of $14, but more than 35 percent off shares' early-October highs above $32.


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