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Cramer's Formula for Successful Restaurant Stock Picking

Wednesday, 27 Apr 2011 | 7:02 PM ET
BWLD Spreading Its Wings?
Mad Money host Jim Cramer shares his bullish view on Buffalo Wild Wings.

To find a high-quality restaurant stock, Cramer recommends regional to national growth stories with a proven concept and room to grow. He called it the "tried and true" formula for successful restaurant stock picking.

Using this criteria, Cramer said Buffalo Wild Wings fits the bill perfectly. The Minneapolis-based restaurant chain operator currently has 700 locations in 45 states, but is mainly concentrated in Minnesota, Ohio, Tennessee and Texas. It is only starting to expand into the East Coast and has just 28 locations on the West Coast.

Not only is Buffalo Wild Wings building a lot of new restaurants, Cramer said it's doing a good job of running its existing locations. On Tuesday, the company reported strong earnings results with 81 cents of earnings per share, an 8 cent beat, on revenues that rose 19.6 percent year-over-year. Meanwhile, same-store sales increased by 3.9 percent at company-owned stores and 1.6 percent at its franchises.

As Buffalo Wild Wings continues to grow, Cramer said its costs are going down. Its gross margin, the percentage of every dollar of sales it keeps as profit, increased by 270 basis points year-over-year, he noted.

BWLD shares have increased by 13 percent since Cramer last interviewed CEO Sally Smith on February 11 when the stock was trading at $53.20 a share. Still, Cramer thinks the stock is cheap being as its selling for 24 times earnings with a 21 percent long-term growth rate.

To learn more about the company, Cramer spoke with Buffalo Wild Wings CEO Sally Smith. Watch the video to see the full conversation.

Call Cramer: 1-800-743-CNBC

Questions for Cramer? madmoney@cnbc.com

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