J. Alexander’s Holdings, Inc. Reports Results For Third Quarter And First Nine Months Of 2015 Under FNFV Ownership

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J. Alexander’s/Redlands Grill Posts 23rd Consecutive Quarter Of Same Store Sales Increases

Stoney River Records 5th Consecutive Quarter Of Same Store Sales Improvement

Board Authorizes Share Repurchase Program

Thursday, November 5, 2015 4:29 pm CST
NASHVILLE, Tenn.
NYSE:
JAX
"We expect our same store sales for the fourth quarter will be up on a comparative basis"

NASHVILLE, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--J. Alexander’s Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: JAX) (the Company), the sole managing member of J. Alexander’s Holdings, LLC, today reported financial results for J. Alexander’s Holdings, LLC (JAH) for the third quarter and first nine months of fiscal 2015 ended September 27, 2015. As previously announced, on September 28, 2015, the Company completed its spin-off from Fidelity National Financial Ventures, LLC (NYSE: FNFV). As a result of the spin-off and related reorganization transactions, the Company became an independent public company and the sole managing member of JAH.

Third Quarter 2015 Highlights Compared To The Third Quarter Of 2014

  • Adjusted EBITDA(1) rose 36.5% to $4,426,000 for the third quarter of 2015 from $3,243,000 during the corresponding period of 2014.
  • Net sales increased 5.6% to $49,335,000 from $46,725,000.
  • For the J. Alexander’s/Redlands Grill restaurants, average weekly same store sales per restaurant were up 3.0% to $103,500 and for the Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill restaurants, average weekly same store sales increased by 5.0% to $60,800.
  • The loss from continuing operations before income taxes totaled $2,437,000 compared to income from continuing operations before income taxes of $16,000 in the third quarter of 2014. Excluding non-recurring transaction expenses associated with a planned initial public offering during 2014 and the ultimate spin-off from FNFV of $4,197,000 and $224,000 in the third quarter of 2015 and 2014, respectively, income from continuing operations before income taxes would have totaled $1,760,000 for the third quarter of 2015 compared to $240,000 for the third quarter of 2014.
  • The net loss of $2,477,000 compared to a net loss of $215,000 in the third quarter a year ago.
  • Restaurant operating margins (2) were 10.8% for the 2015 quarter as compared to 10.3% in the third quarter of 2014.
  • Cost of sales as a percentage of net sales, improved to 31.6% during the third quarter of 2015 compared to 32.3% during the third quarter a year ago.

(1) Please refer to the financial information accompanying this release for reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA, a financial measure that management uses to evaluate operating performance and the effectiveness of its business strategies.

(2) Net sales minus total restaurant operating expenses divided by net sales. Please refer to the financial information accompanying this release for reconciliation of Restaurant Operating Profit, a financial measure that management uses to measure operating performance at the restaurant level.

The J. Alexander’s Holdings, Inc. Board of Directors has authorized a share repurchase program for up to 1.5 million shares of the Company’s outstanding common stock over the next three years. Repurchases will be made in accordance with applicable securities laws and may be made from time to time in the open market. The timing, prices, and sizes of repurchases will depend upon prevailing market prices, general economic and market conditions and other considerations. The repurchase program does not obligate the Company to acquire any particular amount of stock.

Chief Executive Officer’s Review

“We were pleased with our overall performance in the third quarter,” said Lonnie J. Stout, II, President and Chief Executive Officer of J. Alexander’s Holdings, Inc. “The quarter closing September 27, 2015 marked the 23rd consecutive period of positive same store sales for our J. Alexander’s/Redlands Grill restaurants, and the 5th consecutive period of same store sales improvement for our Stoney River restaurants.”

Stout said another positive measure of the Company’s most recent results included a reduction in cost of sales. “The decrease in cost of sales was particularly encouraging in light of fresh beef prices, which moderated somewhat during the third quarter but have exceeded prior year prices on a comparative basis during each of the 2015 quarters thus far. Restaurant labor and related costs as a percent of sales were also down slightly to 32.1% as compared to 32.2% in the corresponding period a year earlier while other restaurant operating expenses increased to 21.3% of net sales as compared to 21.1% of net sales in the third quarter of 2014.”

Stout said that average weekly guest counts (same store base) for the Company’s Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill restaurants were up 4.3% for the third quarter of 2015. At the same time, he said guest counts at the Company’s J. Alexander’s/Redlands Grill concepts declined slightly in the past quarter. For the most recent quarter, average weekly guest counts (same store base) of the combined J. Alexander’s/Redlands Grill restaurant base were down 1.2%.

Average guest checks, which include alcoholic beverage sales, for the combined J. Alexander’s/Redlands Grill concepts and Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill concept in the third quarter of 2015 both increased, as J. Alexander’s/Redlands Grill climbed 4.1% to $30.63 while Stoney River rose 0.7% to $45.89. The effect of menu price increases for the quarter just ended was estimated to be 2.8% for the J. Alexander’s/Redlands Grill restaurants and 1.9% for the Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill restaurants compared to the same period a year earlier.

Year-To-Date Performance

For the first nine months of 2015, JAH recorded net sales of $158,610,000, up 6.5% from $148,921,000 reported in the first nine months of 2014. Income from continuing operations before income taxes totaled $3,306,000 for the 2015 period compared to $6,815,000 for the first nine months of 2014. Excluding non-recurring transaction expenses of $6,311,000 and $326,000 in the first nine months of 2015 and 2014, respectively, income from continuing operations before income taxes would have totaled $9,617,000 for the first nine months of 2015 compared to $7,141,000 for the comparable period of 2014. JAH recorded net income of $3,034,000 for the first three quarters of 2015 compared to $6,323,000 during the same period of 2014. Adjusted EBITDA for the first nine months of 2015 totaled $17,743,000, an increase of $1,988,000, or 12.6%, from $15,755,000 recorded during the first nine months of 2014.

Average weekly same store sales per restaurant for the first nine months of 2015 were up 4.5% to $110,800 for the J. Alexander’s/Redlands Grill restaurants, and for the Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill restaurants, average weekly same store sales increased by 5.6% to $67,600.

Average weekly guest counts within the same store base of restaurants increased by 0.4% within the J. Alexander’s/Redlands Grill restaurants and by 3.7% within the Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill restaurants during the first nine months of 2015 compared to the corresponding period of 2014. The average guest check at J. Alexander’s/Redlands Grill locations increased by 4.1% to $30.67 during the year-to-date 2015 period and the Stoney River average guest check increased by 1.9% to $45.54. Management estimates that the effect of menu price increases for the year-to-date period totaled 3.3% at J. Alexander’s/Redlands Grill locations and 3.1% at the Stoney River restaurants during the first nine months of 2015.

Cost of sales for the first nine months of 2015 was 31.6%, down from 31.9% in the comparable nine month period of 2014. Restaurant labor and related costs for the first three quarters of 2015 decreased to 30.5% of net sales from 30.7% of net sales in the same three quarters of 2014, and other restaurant operating expenses decreased to 20.2% of net sales during the 2015 period from 20.4% of net sales in the comparable prior year period. Restaurant operating margins for the first nine months of 2015 totaled 13.7%, up from 13.2% in the first three quarters of 2014.

“We expect our same store sales for the fourth quarter will be up on a comparative basis,” Stout said. “Our previously released guidance for 2015 remains unchanged. It can be found on page 33 of the September 2015 Investor Presentation located in the investor section of our website under the “Events and Presentations” tab.”

Restaurant Development

During the third quarter of 2015, leases to develop two new J. Alexander’s restaurants were executed, with one in Raleigh, NC and one in Lexington, KY. These two new restaurants are expected to open in the second and fourth quarters, respectively, of 2016. The Company also announced plans in the third quarter to develop a new Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill in Germantown, TN, near Memphis. The new Stoney River restaurant is set to open in the first quarter of 2016. Finally during the third quarter, the Company continued its program to transition selected J. Alexander’s restaurants to Redlands Grill restaurants, with 12 such transitions in progress at September 27, 2015. The Company expects the transition process will be completed during 2016.

J. Alexander’s Holdings, Inc. presently operates 41 restaurants across 14 states.

Conference Call

J. Alexander’s Holdings, Inc. will hold a conference call on Friday, November 6, at 10 a.m. Central time to discuss its financial results for the third quarter ended September 27, 2015. The conference call can be accessed live over the phone by dialing 1-877-407-4018 (Toll-Free) or 1-201-689-8471 (Toll/International). To access the call via the internet, go to J. Alexander’s website at investor.jalexandersholdings.com or http://public.viavid.com/index.php?id=116818.

A replay of the conference call will be available shortly following the conclusion of the call at investor.jalexandersholdings.com and http://public.viavid.com/index.php?id=116818, as well as by dialing 1-877-870-5176 or 1-858-384-5517 and providing the access code 13623097. The replay will be accessible through December 6, 2015 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 three complementary restaurant concepts: J. Alexander’s, Redlands Grill and Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill.

J. Alexander’s Holdings, Inc. has its headquarters in Nashville, TN.

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, including 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; as well as other risks and uncertainties described under the headings "Forward-Looking Statements," "Risk Factors" and other sections of the Company’s Registration Statement on Form 10 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

               

J. Alexander's Holdings, LLC and Subsidiaries

Consolidated Statements of Operations

(Unaudited in thousands)

 

Quarter Ended

Nine Months Ended

Sept. 27

Sept. 28

Sept. 27

Sept. 28

2015

2014

2015

2014
Net sales

$

49,335

$ 46,725

$

158,610

$ 148,921
 
Costs and expenses:
Cost of sales

15,581

15,101

50,177

47,440
Restaurant labor and related costs

15,819

15,032

48,455

45,743

Depreciation and amortization of restaurant property and equipment

2,088

1,926

6,128

5,703
Other operating expenses  

10,516

    9,839    

32,066

    30,330  
Total restaurant operating expenses

44,004

41,898

136,826

129,216
 
Transaction and integration expenses

4,197

224

6,311

326
General and administrative expenses

3,377

3,734

11,240

10,271

Asset impairment charges and restaurant closing costs

1

-

2

4
Pre-opening expenses  

21

    141    

23

    162  
Total operating expenses  

51,600

    45,997    

154,402

    139,979  
Operating income (loss)

(2,265

)

728

4,208

8,942
Other income (expense):
Interest expense

(193

)

(732 )

(970

)

(2,223 )
Other, net  

21

    20    

68

    96  
Total other expense  

(172

)

  (712 )  

(902

)

  (2,127 )

Income (loss) from continuing operations before income taxes

(2,437

)

16

3,306

6,815
Income tax (expense) benefit

66

(124 )

45

(161 )
Loss from discontinued operations, net  

(106

)

  (107 )  

(317

)

  (331 )
Net income (loss)

$

(2,477

)

$ (215 )

$

3,034

  $ 6,323  
 
Adjusted EBITDA*

$

4,426

  $ 3,243  

$

17,743

  $ 15,755  
 
* - See reconciliation attached.
 
               

J. Alexander's Holdings, LLC and Subsidiaries

Consolidated Statements of Operations

Percentages of Net Sales (Unaudited)

 

Quarter Ended

Nine Months Ended

Sept. 27

Sept. 28

Sept. 27

Sept. 28

2015

2014

2015

2014
 
Net sales

100.0

%

100.0 %

100.0

%

100.0 %
 
Costs and expenses:
Cost of sales

31.6

32.3

31.6

31.9
Restaurant labor and related costs

32.1

32.2

30.5

30.7

Depreciation and amortization of restaurant property and equipment

4.2

4.1

3.9

3.8

Other operating expenses  

21.3

    21.1    

20.2

    20.4  
Total restaurant operating expenses

89.2

89.7

86.3

86.8
Transaction and integration expenses

8.5

0.5

4.0

0.2
General and administrative expenses

6.8

8.0

7.1

6.9

Asset impairment charges and restaurant closing costs

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0
Pre-opening expenses  

0.0

    0.3    

0.0

    0.1  
Total operating expenses  

104.6

    98.4    

97.3

    94.0  
Operating income (loss)

(4.6

)

1.6

2.7

6.0
Other income (expense):
Interest expense

(0.4

)

(1.6 )

(0.6

)

(1.5

)

Other, net  

0.0

    0.0    

0.0

   

0.1

 
Total other expense  

(0.3

)

  (1.5 )  

(0.6

)

 

(1.4

)

Income (loss) from continuing operations before income taxes

(4.9

)

0.0

2.1

4.6

Income tax (expense) benefit

0.1

(0.3 )

0.0

(0.1

)

Loss from discontinued operations, net  

(0.2

)

  (0.2 )  

(0.2

)

  (0.2 )
Net income (loss)  

(5.0

)%

  (0.5 )%  

1.9

%

  4.2 %
 
Adjusted EBITDA  

9.0

%

  6.9 %  

11.2

%

  10.6 %
 

Note: Certain percentage totals do not sum due to rounding.

 

Average weekly sales per restaurant:

 
J. Alexander’s Restaurant/Redlands Grill

$

102,800

$ 100,500

$

110,200

$ 106,000
Percent increase

2.3

%

4.0

%

 

Average weekly same store sales per restaurant:

 
J. Alexander’s Restaurant/Redlands Grill

$

103,500

$ 100,500

$

110,800

$ 106,000
Percent increase

3.0

%

4.5

%

 
Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill (1)

$

60,800

$ 57,900

$

67,600

$ 64,000
Percent increase

5.0

%

5.6

%

 

(1) The Company includes restaurants in the same store sales base after they have been in operation for more than 18 months. Because no new restaurants have been opened during the 18 months preceding the comparable periods, average weekly same store sales per restaurant are the same as average weekly sales per restaurant for the periods presented.

 
       

J. Alexander's Holdings, LLC and Subsidiaries

Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets

(Unaudited in thousands)

 

September 27

December 28

2015

2014
 
 

ASSETS

 
Current assets
Cash and cash equivalents

$

12,765

$ 13,301
Other current assets  

4,923

  5,559
Total current assets

17,688

18,860
 
Other assets

4,094

4,405
Property and equipment, net

86,815

86,263
Goodwill

15,737

15,737
Tradename and other indefinite-lived assets

25,155

25,155
Deferred charges, net  

581

  488

$

150,070

$ 150,908
 
 
 

LIABILITIES AND MEMBERSHIP EQUITY

 
Current liabilities

$

19,720

$ 22,962

Long-term debt and capital lease obligations, net of current portion

20,000

11,250
Long-term debt due to related party

-

10,000
Deferred compensation obligations

5,745

5,555
Other long-term liabilities

4,362

4,252
Membership equity  

100,243

  96,889

$

150,070

$ 150,908
 

J. Alexander's Holdings, LLC and Subsidiaries
Adjusted EBITDA Reconciliation
(Unaudited in thousands)

Adjusted EBITDA is a financial measure that management uses to evaluate operating performance and the effectiveness of its business strategies. Adjusted EBITDA is defined as net income (loss) before interest expense, income tax expense (benefit), depreciation and amortization, and adding transaction and integration costs, loss on disposals of fixed assets, asset impairment charges and restaurant closing costs, non-cash compensation, loss from discontinued operations, pre-opening expenses and certain unusual items. Management believes Adjusted EBITDA is a useful metric for investors because it provides a comparative assessment of our operating performance relative to our performance based on our results under GAAP, while isolating the effects of some items that vary from period to period without any correlation to core operating performance. Specifically, Adjusted EBITDA allows for an assessment of our operating performance without the effect of non-cash depreciation and amortization expenses or our ability to service or incur indebtedness. The following table presents a reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA to net income (loss) for all periods presented:

           
Quarter Ended Nine Months Ended
Sept. 27 Sept. 28 Sept. 27     Sept. 28
2015 2014 2015 2014
Net income (loss) $ (2,477 ) $ (215 ) $ 3,034 $ 6,323
 
Income tax expense (benefit)

(66

)

124

(45

)

161
Interest expense 193 732 970 2,223
Depreciation and amortization   2,179     2,013     6,398     5,955
EBITDA (171 ) 2,654 10,357 14,662
 
Transaction and integration expenses 4,197 224 6,311 326
Loss on disposal of fixed assets 103 75 224 148
Asset impairment charges and restaurant closing costs 1 - 2 4
Non-cash compensation 169 42 509 122
Loss from discontinued operations, net 106 107 317 331
Pre-opening expenses   21     141     23     162
 
Adjusted EBITDA $ 4,426   $ 3,243   $ 17,743   $ 15,755
 

J. Alexander's Holdings, LLC and Subsidiaries
Restaurant Operating Profit Reconciliation
(Unaudited in thousands)

Restaurant Operating Profit is a metric used by management to measure operating performance at the restaurant level. Restaurant Operating Profit represents net income (loss) before losses from discontinued operations, income tax expense (benefit), interest expense, general and administrative expenses, asset impairment charges and restaurant closing costs, transaction and integration expenses, pre-opening expenses, and other, net non-operating income or expense. Management believes this measure is useful to investors because it allows for an assessment of our operating performance without the effect of general and administrative expenses and other non-operating or unusual costs incurred at the corporate level. The following table presents a reconciliation of Restaurant Operating Profit to net income (loss) for all periods presented:

    Quarter Ended     Nine Months Ended
Sept. 27     Sept. 28 Sept. 27     Sept. 28
2015 2014 2015 2014
Net income (loss) $ (2,477 ) $ (215 ) $ 3,034 $ 6,323
 
Loss from discontinued operations, net 106 107 317 331
Income tax expense (benefit) (66 ) 124 (45 ) 161
Interest expense 193 732 970 2,223
Other, net (21 ) (20 ) (68 ) (96 )
General and administrative expenses 3,377 3,734 11,240 10,271
Asset impairment charges and restaurant closing costs 1 - 2 4
Transaction and integration expenses 4,197 224 6,311 326
Pre-opening expenses   21     141     23     162  
 
Restaurant Operating Profit $ 5,331   $ 4,827   $ 21,784   $ 19,705  
 
 
Note: “Restaurant Operating Profit Margin” is the ratio of Restaurant Operating Profit to net sales.

Contact:

J. Alexander’s Holdings, Inc.
Mark Parkey, 615-269-1900
Chief Financial Officer