A Sweetgreen banner on the NYSE, November 18, 2021.
Sweetgreen on Thursday reported widening losses for its first quarter, but sales jumped 67%, fueled by more customer transactions and menu price hikes.
Shares of the company rose more than 4% in extended trading.
Here’s what the company reported compared with what Wall Street was expecting, based on a survey of analysts by Refinitiv:
- Loss per share: 45 cents vs. 41 cents expected
- Revenue: $102.6 million vs. $101.5 million expected
The salad chain reported first-quarter net loss of $49.2 million, or 45 cents per share, wider than its net loss of $30 million, or $1.77 per share, a year earlier. Analysts surveyed by Refinitiv were anticipating a loss per share of 41 cents .
Sweetgreen said a $21 million increase in stock-based compensation was the primary reason for its widening losses this quarter. Higher wages and employee bonuses also weighed on the company’s restaurant-level margins, partially offset by its decision to end its loyalty program.
Net sales rose 67% to $102.6 million, beating expectations of $101.5 million.
Sweetgreen’s same-store sales climbed 35% in the quarter, after falling 26% a year ago. The chain credited higher customer transactions and menu price increases. The company has raised prices 10% over the last year.
The chain’s average unit volumes, which measures average sales per location, increased to $2.8 million in the quarter. A year ago, the metric fell to $2.1 million. This quarter’s average unit volumes surpass pre-pandemic levels, according to CFO Mitch Reback. It’s a strong indicator that as workers return to their offices and restart their old lunchtime routines, the chain is regaining its pre-pandemic business.
Sweetgreen reiterated its forecast for 2022, predicting revenue of $515 million to $535 million and same-store sales growth of 20% to 26%. It also expects to open at least 35 net new locations.
Read the company’s earnings release here.
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