Del Taco Restaurants, Inc. Announces Fiscal Third Quarter 2017 Financial Results

10/19/2017

System-wide and Company-operated comparable restaurant sales growth of 4.1% and 3.7%

Conference call and webcast will be held at 5:00 p.m. ET today

LAKE FOREST, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Del Taco Restaurants, Inc. (“Del Taco” or the “Company”), (NASDAQ: TACO), the second largest Mexican-American QSR chain by units in the United States, operating restaurants under the name Del Taco, today announced fiscal third quarter 2017 financial results. The Company also revised its guidance for fiscal year 2017 on several key metrics.

Fiscal Third Quarter 2017 Highlights

  • System-wide comparable restaurant sales growth of 4.1% and company-operated comparable restaurant sales growth of 3.7%, marking the 16th and 21st consecutive quarter of gains, respectively, each representing 10.8% on a two-year stacked basis;
    • Company-operated comparable restaurant sales growth was comprised of average check growth of 4.0%, including approximately 1.5% of menu mix growth, partially offset by a transaction decline of 0.3%;
  • Total revenue of $111.0 million, representing 6.3% growth from the fiscal third quarter 2016;
  • Company-operated restaurant sales of $106.3 million, representing 6.1% growth from the fiscal third quarter 2016;
  • Net income increased to $5.1 million, representing diluted earnings per share of $0.13, compared to $4.9 million in the fiscal third quarter 2016, representing diluted earnings per share of $0.13;
  • Adjusted EBITDA, a non-GAAP financial measure, of $16.6 million versus $17.0 million in the fiscal third quarter 2016; and
  • The opening of two company-operated and two franchise restaurants.

John D. Cappasola, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer of Del Taco, commented, “During the third quarter, our company-operated and franchised restaurants both extended their track records of positive comparable restaurant sales, and The Del Taco system as a whole achieved 10.8% growth in comparable restaurant sales on a two-year stacked basis.”

Cappasola continued, “We successfully executed our strategy to lap last year’s accelerated performance by combining comprehensive improvement across the brand with an impactful marketing plan. We raised the bar in operations by focusing on improving our Overall Satisfaction Scores and Lunch and Dinner Speed compared to last year, embedding awareness and usage of The Del Taco and Platos, and reintroducing Carnitas as a limited time offer. We finished the quarter with our launch of Queso, a highly relevant and elevated QSR+ ingredient that is currently mixing at approximately 7% of sales and will enable exciting future product innovation across our menu.”

Cappasola concluded, “Cost pressures during the third quarter, driven particularly by food inflation, led us to revise our annual guidance, however, we still expect to deliver our annual guidance across revenues, diluted earnings per share, Adjusted EBITDA and new system-wide restaurant openings. Our ability to leverage our QSR+ positioning to deliver everyday value and variety to guests builds upon our strong Combined Solutions foundation, and positions us well for continued future success.”

Review of Fiscal Third Quarter 2017 Financial Results

Total revenue was $111.0 million, an increase of 6.3% compared to $104.4 million in the fiscal third quarter 2016. The growth in revenue was driven by a 6.1% increase in Company restaurant sales and a 7.9% increase in franchise revenue.

Comparable restaurant sales increased 4.1% system-wide for the fiscal third quarter 2017, resulting in a 10.8% increase on a two-year basis. The Del Taco system has now generated comparable restaurant sales growth for 16 consecutive quarters. Company-operated comparable restaurant sales increased 3.7%, marking the 21st consecutive quarter of comparable restaurant sales growth. Franchise comparable restaurant sales increased 4.6%.

Net income was $5.1 million, representing $0.13 per diluted share, compared to $4.9 million in the fiscal third quarter 2016, representing $0.13 per diluted share.

Restaurant contribution, a non-GAAP financial measure, decreased 2.5% year-over-year to $20.4 million. As a percentage of Company restaurant sales, restaurant contribution margin fell approximately 170 basis points year-over-year to 19.2%. The decrease in restaurant contribution margin was driven by a 90 basis point increase in labor and related expenses, a 40 basis point increase in food and paper costs, and a 40 basis point increase in other operating expenses. A reconciliation between restaurant contribution and the nearest GAAP financial measure is included in the accompanying financial data.

Adjusted EBITDA, a non-GAAP financial measure, was $16.6 million compared to $17.0 million in the previous year’s fiscal third quarter. A reconciliation between adjusted EBITDA and the nearest GAAP financial measure is included in the accompanying financial data.

Restaurant Portfolio

During the fiscal third quarter 2017, we opened two restaurants and our franchise partners opened two restaurants. There was also one company restaurant closure.

Thus far in the fiscal fourth quarter 2017, we opened three company-operated restaurants and there are currently eleven restaurants (two franchised and nine company) under construction, all of which are expected to open this fiscal year.

Repurchase Program for Common Stock and Warrants

During the fiscal third quarter 2017, we purchased 96,122 shares of common stock at an average price of $12.35 and 1,186 warrants at an average price of $3.97 per warrant. At the end of the fiscal third quarter approximately $24.1 million remained under our $50 million repurchase authorization.

Fiscal Year 2017 Guidance

We are revising our guidance for fiscal year 2017, which is a 52-week period ending January 2, 2018:

  • System-wide comparable restaurant sales growth of approximately 4.0% to 4.5% (previously 3.5% to 4.5%);
  • Total revenue between $472 million and $475 million (previously $470 million and $476 million);
  • Total company-operated restaurant sales between $453 million and $456 million (previously $452 million and $458 million);
  • Restaurant contribution margin between 19.5% and 19.8% (was 19.8% to 20.3%);
  • General and administrative expenses of between approximately 8.1% and 8.3% of total revenue (previously 8.2% and 8.4%);
  • Effective tax rate of approximately 39.0% (previously 40.0%);
  • Diluted earnings per share of approximately $0.52 to $0.54 (previously $0.52 and $0.55);
  • Adjusted EBITDA between $71.5 million and $72.5 million (previously $71.5 and $73.5);
  • 23 to 24 new system-wide restaurant openings (previously 23 to 26); and
  • Net capital expenditures totaling approximately $43.0 million to $46.0 million (reaffirming).

We have not reconciled guidance for Adjusted EBITDA to the corresponding GAAP financial measure because we do not provide guidance for the various reconciling items. We are unable to provide guidance for these reconciling items because we cannot determine their probable significance, as certain items are outside of our control and cannot be reasonably predicted due to the fact that these items could vary significantly from period to period. Accordingly, a reconciliation to the corresponding GAAP financial measure is not available without unreasonable effort.

Conference Call

A conference call and webcast to discuss Del Taco’s financial results is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. ET today. Hosting the conference call and webcast will be John D. Cappasola, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer; and Steven L. Brake, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

Interested parties may listen to the conference call via telephone by dialing 1-201-689-8471. A telephone replay will be available shortly after the call has concluded and can be accessed by dialing 1-412-317-6671, the passcode is 13671044.

The webcast will be available at www.deltaco.com under the investors section and will be archived on the site shortly after the call has concluded.

Key Financial Definitions

Comparable restaurant sales growth reflects the change in year-over-year sales for the comparable company, franchise and total system restaurant base. Restaurants are included in the comparable store base in the accounting period following its 18th full month of operations and excludes restaurant closures.

Restaurant contribution is defined as company restaurant sales less restaurant operating expenses, which are food and paper costs, labor and related expenses and occupancy and other operating expenses. Restaurant contribution margin is defined as restaurant contribution as a percentage of company restaurant sales. Restaurant contribution and restaurant contribution margin are neither required by, nor presented in accordance with, GAAP. Restaurant contribution and restaurant contribution margin are supplemental measures of operating performance of restaurants and the calculations thereof may not be comparable to those reported by other companies. Restaurant contribution and restaurant contribution margin have limitations as analytical tools, and you should not consider them in isolation or as substitutes for analysis of results as reported under U.S. GAAP. Management believes that restaurant contribution and restaurant contribution margin are important tools for investors because they are widely-used metrics within the restaurant industry to evaluate restaurant-level productivity, efficiency and performance. Management uses restaurant contribution and restaurant contribution margin as key performance indicators to evaluate the profitability of incremental sales at Del Taco restaurants, to evaluate restaurant performance across periods and to evaluate restaurant financial performance compared with competitors. A reconciliation between restaurant contribution and the nearest GAAP financial measure is included in the accompanying financial data.

Adjusted EBITDA is defined as net income/loss prior to interest expense, income taxes, and depreciation and amortization, as adjusted to add back certain charges, such as stock-based compensation expense and transaction-related costs, as these expenses are not considered an indicator of ongoing company performance. Adjusted EBITDA is a non-GAAP financial measure and should not be considered as an alternative to operating income or net income/loss as a measure of operating performance or cash flows or as measures of liquidity. Non-GAAP financial measures are not necessarily calculated the same way by different companies and should not be considered a substitute for or superior to GAAP results. We believe Adjusted EBITDA facilitates operating performance comparisons from period to period by isolating the effects of some items that vary from period to period without any correlation to core operating performance or that vary widely among similar companies. These potential differences may be caused by variations in capital structures (affecting interest expense), tax positions (such as the impact on periods or changes in effective tax rates or net operating losses) and the age and book depreciation of facilities and equipment (affecting relative depreciation expense). We also present Adjusted EBITDA because (i) we believe this measure is frequently used by securities analysts, investors and other interested parties to evaluate companies in our industry and (ii) we use Adjusted EBITDA internally as a benchmark to compare performance to that of competitors. A reconciliation between Adjusted EBITDA and the nearest GAAP financial measure is included in the accompanying financial data.

About Del Taco Restaurants, Inc.

Del Taco (NASDAQ: TACO) offers a unique variety of both Mexican and American favorites such as burritos and fries, prepared fresh in every restaurant’s working kitchen with the value and convenience of a drive thru. Del Taco’s menu items taste better because they are made with quality ingredients like freshly grated cheddar, hand-chopped pico de gallo, sliced avocado, slow-cooked beans made from scratch, and fresh-grilled marinated chicken and carne asada. The brand’s UnFreshing Believable® campaign further communicates Del Taco’s commitment to provide guests with the best quality and value for their money. Founded in 1964, today Del Taco serves more than three million guests each week at its more than 550 restaurants across 15 states. For more information, visit www.deltaco.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

In addition to historical information, this release may contain a number of “forward-looking statements” as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements include, without limitation, information concerning Del Taco’s possible or assumed future results of operations, business strategies, competitive position, industry environment, potential growth opportunities and the effects of regulation. These statements are based Del Taco’s management’s current expectations and beliefs, as well as a number of assumptions concerning future events. When used in this press release, the words “estimates,” “projected,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “forecasts,” “plans,” “intends,” “believes,” “seeks,” “target,” “may,” “will,” “should,” “future,” “propose,” “preliminary,” “guidance,” “on track” and variations of these words or similar expressions (or the negative versions of such words or expressions) are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other important factors, many of which are outside Del Taco’s management’s control that could cause actual results to differ materially from the results discussed in the forward-looking statements. These risks included, without limitation, consumer demand, our inability to successfully open company-operated or franchised restaurants or establish new markets, competition in our markets, our inability to grow and manage growth profitably, adverse changes in food and supply costs, our inability to access additional capital, changes in applicable laws or regulations, food safety and foodborne illness concerns, our inability to manage existing and to obtain additional franchisees, our inability to attract and retain qualified personnel, our inability to profitably expand into new markets, changes in, or the discontinuation of, the Company’s repurchase program, and the possibility that we may be adversely affected by other economic, business, and/or competitive factors. Additional risks and uncertainties are identified and discussed in Del Taco’s reports filed with the SEC, including under Item 1A. Risk Factors in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended January 3, 2017, and available at the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov and the Company’s website at www.deltaco.com.

Forward-looking statements included in this release speak only as of the date of this release. Del Taco undertakes no obligation to update its forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this release or otherwise.

   
Del Taco Restaurants, Inc.
Consolidated Balance Sheets
(In thousands, except share and per share data)
 
September 12, 2017 January 3, 2017
Assets (unaudited)
Current assets:
Cash and cash equivalents $ 7,022 $ 8,795
Accounts and other receivables, net 3,353 4,141
Inventories 2,642 2,718
Prepaid expenses and other current assets   4,273     4,204
Total current assets 17,290 19,858
Property and equipment, net 146,308 138,320
Goodwill 319,778 320,025
Trademarks 220,300 220,300
Intangible assets, net 22,523 24,782
Other assets, net   3,622     3,872
Total assets $ 729,821   $ 727,157
Liabilities and shareholders' equity
Current liabilities:
Accounts payable $ 20,060 $ 16,427
Other accrued liabilities 39,065 36,653

Current portion of capital lease obligations and deemed landlord financing liabilities

  1,497     1,588
Total current liabilities 60,622 54,668

Long-term debt, capital lease obligations and deemed landlord financing liabilities, excluding current portion, net

161,968 173,743
Deferred income taxes 93,700 91,273
Other non-current liabilities   31,058     30,140
Total liabilities 347,348 349,824
 
Shareholders' equity:

Preferred stock, $0.0001 par value; 1,000,000 shares authorized; no shares issued and outstanding

Common stock, $0.0001 par value; 400,000,000 shares authorized;
38,677,234 shares issued and outstanding at September 12, 2017;
39,153,503 shares issued and outstanding at January 3, 2017 4 4
Additional paid-in capital 350,873 360,131
Accumulated other comprehensive (loss) income (99 ) 172
Retained earnings   31,695     17,026
Total shareholders' equity   382,473     377,333
Total liabilities and shareholders' equity $ 729,821   $ 727,157
 
       
Del Taco Restaurants, Inc.
Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income
(Unaudited)
(In thousands, except share and per share data)
 
12 Weeks Ended 36 Weeks Ended
September 12, 2017 September 6, 2016 September 12, 2017 September 6, 2016
Revenue:
Company restaurant sales $ 106,298 $ 100,173 $ 311,542 $ 289,640
Franchise revenue 3,978 3,686 11,494 10,591
Franchise sublease income   712     560     1,878     1,617  
Total revenue 110,988 104,419 324,914 301,848
Operating expenses:
Restaurant operating expenses:
Food and paper costs 29,648 27,574 86,336 80,061
Labor and related expenses 33,635 30,748 100,041 90,781
Occupancy and other operating expenses 22,608 20,911 64,243 60,560
General and administrative 8,817 8,566 27,177 25,072
Depreciation and amortization 5,522 5,157 15,903 16,175
Occupancy and other - franchise subleases 654 521 1,738 1,534
Pre-opening costs 354 94 531 222
Restaurant closure charges, net (16 ) (133 ) (1 ) (121 )
Loss on disposal of assets, net   233     54     524     191  
Total operating expenses   101,455     93,492     296,492     274,475  
Income from operations 9,533 10,927 28,422 27,373
Other expense
Interest expense 1,628 1,412 4,798 4,289
Transaction-related costs       490         681  
Total other expense   1,628     1,902     4,798     4,970  
Income from operations before provision for income taxes 7,905 9,025 23,624 22,403
Provision for income taxes   2,804     4,076     8,955     9,529  
Net income 5,101 4,949 14,669 12,874
Other comprehensive loss:
Change in fair value of interest rate cap, net of tax   (35 )   (122 )   (271 )   (122 )
Total other comprehensive loss   (35 )   (122 )   (271 )   (122 )
Comprehensive income $ 5,066   $ 4,827   $ 14,398   $ 12,752  
Earnings per share:
Basic $ 0.13 $ 0.13 $ 0.38 $ 0.33
Diluted $ 0.13 $ 0.13 $ 0.37 $ 0.33
Weighted-average shares outstanding
Basic 38,695,099 38,465,064 38,744,963 38,518,431
Diluted 39,839,571 38,688,961 40,016,062 38,682,273
 
       
Del Taco Restaurants, Inc.
Reconciliation of Net Income to EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA
(Unaudited)
(In thousands)
 
12 Weeks Ended 36 Weeks Ended
September 12, 2017 September 6, 2016 September 12, 2017 September 6, 2016
Net income $ 5,101 $ 4,949 $ 14,669 $ 12,874
Non-GAAP adjustments:
Provision for income taxes 2,804 4,076 8,955 9,529
Interest expense 1,628 1,412 4,798 4,289
Depreciation and amortization   5,522     5,157     15,903     16,175  
EBITDA   15,055     15,594     44,325     42,867  
Stock-based compensation expense (a) 1,191 1,001 3,340 2,630
Loss on disposal of assets, net (b) 233 54 524 191
Restaurant closure charges, net (c) (16 ) (133 ) (1 ) (121 )

Amortization of favorable and unfavorable lease assets and liabilities, net (d)

(229 ) (140 ) (521 ) (420 )
Transaction-related costs (e) 490 681
Pre-opening costs (f)   354     94     531     222  
Adjusted EBITDA $ 16,588   $ 16,960   $ 48,198   $ 46,050  
 
(a) Includes non-cash, stock-based compensation.
(b) Loss on disposal of assets, net includes the loss or gain on disposal of assets related to sales, retirements and replacement or write-off of leasehold improvements or equipment in the ordinary course of business, net of amortization of deferred gains on asset sales associated with sale-leaseback transactions and gains or losses recorded associated with the sale of company-operated stores to franchisees.
(c) Includes sublease income from leases which are treated as deemed landlord financing, partially offset by costs related to future obligations associated with the closure or net sublease shortfall of a restaurant.
(d) Includes amortization of favorable lease assets and unfavorable lease liabilities.
(e) Includes costs related to the offer to exchange the Company's common stock for each outstanding Company warrant and the strategic sale process which commenced during 2014 and resulted in the March 2015 stock purchase agreement and the June 2015 Business Combination consummated pursuant to the Merger Agreement.
(f) Pre-opening costs consist of costs directly associated with the opening of new restaurants and incurred prior to opening, including restaurant labor, supplies, cash and non-cash rent expense and other related pre-opening costs. These are generally incurred over the three to five months prior to opening.
 
           
Del Taco Restaurants, Inc.
Reconciliation of Company Restaurant Sales to Restaurant Contribution
(Unaudited)
(In thousands)
 
12 Weeks Ended 36 Weeks Ended
September 12, 2017 September 6, 2016 September 12, 2017 September 6, 2016
Company restaurant sales $ 106,298 $ 100,173 $ 311,542 $ 289,640
Restaurant operating expenses   85,891     79,233     250,620     231,402  
Restaurant contribution $ 20,407   $ 20,940   $ 60,922   $ 58,238  
Restaurant contribution margin   19.2 %   20.9 %   19.6 %   20.1 %
 
           
Del Taco Restaurants, Inc.
Restaurant Development
 
12 Weeks Ended 36 Weeks Ended
September 12, September 6, September 12, September 6,
2017 2016 2017 2016
Company-operated restaurant activity:
Beginning of period 304 298 310 297
Openings 2 1 3 3
Closures (1 ) (3 ) (1 )
Purchased from franchisees 1 1
Sold to franchisees     (5 )  
Restaurants at end of period 305   300   305   300  
Franchise-operated restaurant activity:
Beginning of period 251 245 241 247
Openings 2 2 7 3
Closures (3 )
Purchased from Company 5
Sold to Company   (1 )   (1 )
Restaurants at end of period 253   246   253   246  
Total restaurant activity:
Beginning of period 555 543 551 544
Openings 4 3 10 6
Closures (1 )   (3 ) (4 )
Restaurants at end of period 558   546   558   546  
 

Source: Del Taco Restaurants, Inc.

Del Taco Restaurants, Inc.

Media:

Julia Young, 646-277-1280

julia.young@icrinc.com

or

Investor Relations:

Raphael Gross, 203-682-8253

investor@deltaco.com

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