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Traders chicken out on El Pollo Loco after earnings miss

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Don't count your chickens before they hatch.

Shares of El Pollo Loco plunged more than 15 percent in early trading Friday on the back of foul (fowl?) earnings.

The grilled-chicken chain posted earnings of 17 cents a share on $94.4 million in revenue. Analysts had expected earnings of 18 cents per share on revenues of $96.6 million, according to a consensus estimate from FactSet.

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Although overall same-restaurant sales grew 0.7 percent, company-operated locations saw sales drop 0.6 percent during the quarter, due to a 0.8 percent decrease in traffic. Franchise restaurants, however, saw comparable sales grow 1.8 percent.

El Pollo Loco shares are down nearly 57 percent in the last year.

LOCO in the last 12 months

Source: FactSet