- Wingstop's global expansion goals make the fast-food wing restaurant's stock attractive on a pullback, CNBC's Jim Cramer says.
- The "Mad Money" host adds that investors shouldn't take analysts downgrading Wingstop's stock too seriously.
Wingstop has plans to take the world by storm, and despite some recent analyst downgrades, CNBC's is inclined to get behind the growing restaurant chain.
"Management's got a plan for world domination, and who am I to disagree with them?" the "Mad Money" host said on Friday. "They already have a pipeline of 600 international locations lined up in 13 countries. That's huge. Right now, Wingstop only has about 1,100 locations total."
But not everyone agrees with Cramer's assessment. Last week, a BTIG analyst downgraded Wingstop's stock to "hold" from "buy." Goldman Sachs analysts followed with a similar downgrade this week.
The take-downs sent shares of Wingstop, up 82 percent for 2018, down roughly 6 percent from their recent highs. So, to try and pare investors' concerns about whether or not to take profits, Cramer reminded them of the bull case.
With steady same-store sales growth, healthy new store growth and a solid regional-to-international story, Wingstop's potential is huge despite what he admitted was a lofty valuation (shares of Wingstop currently trade at 67 times next year's earnings estimates).
"You need to be willing to judge Wingstop based on what we call the TAM, or the total addressable market, ... meaning all of the places where they can potentially put up successful new restaurants, and not merely its price-to-earnings multiple," the "Mad Money" host argued.
And if Wingstop meets its long-term growth targets, which include boosting the store count by over 10 percent per year, investors will kick themselves for not buying into the story sooner, he said.
"If they can really hit their growth targets, then when we look back at this moment a few years down the road, I think the stock will look cheap in retrospect," Cramer said.
"If you've owned it all the way up, ... OK, ring the register on part of your position," he continued. "But if you don't have any Wingstop here, I'm betting that the recent pullback will turn out to be a great buying opportunity. Ideally, it goes even lower and you can use the weakness to buy more."
Shares of Wingstop settled at $66.36 per share on Friday, up 0.64 percent, though still a stone's throw from the stock's 52-week high of $70.74.