Cava stock pops after blunder leads to early earnings release

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A banner for the Mediterranean restaurant chain Cava is displayed outside of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) as the company goes public on June 15, 2023 in New York City.
Spencer Platt | Getty Images

Cava’s stock climbed as much as 15% on Tuesday after the Mediterranean restaurant chain released its earnings report a day early.

Investors were expecting Cava to announce its earnings after the bell Tuesday afternoon, but the company issued its press release Monday evening instead after early versions of the results appeared in news reports shortly after the market close.

Cava’s shares closed up 12% on Tuesday.

The company reported fourth-quarter net income of $2.05 million, or 2 cents per share, swinging from a net loss of $18.85 million, or $13.72 per share, a year earlier. Wall Street analysts surveyed by LSEG, formerly known as Refinitiv, were expecting the company to break even for the quarter.

The chain’s revenue soared 36% to $177.1 million, topping analysts’ expectations of $174 million. Cava’s same-store sales climbed 11.4%, crushing expectations of 5.9% growth, according to StreetAccount estimates.

For 2024, Cava is planning to open between 48 and 52 new locations, adding to its footprint of 309 restaurants, as of Dec. 31. The company is forecasting same-store sales growth of 3% to 5% and adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $86 million to $92 million.

Cava’s shares have soared 158% since its initial public offering in June. Including Tuesday’s stock move, the restaurant chain has a market value of $6.44 billion.

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