Knapp released his casual dining same-restaurant sales estimates for March comparable sales and traffic growth. Importantly, Knapp noted that the accounting results for March 2015 will likely be lower than the weekly estimates due to a shift in timing that would include the last week of February 2015 – a period that had lower comparable sales than the last week of March 2015.
Knapp Sequential Moves
March estimated Knapp Track same-restaurant sales growth came in at +0.8%. If the accounting period number is unchanged from the estimate, that will imply a sequential change in the two-year average trend of -55 bps. This would mark the fourth month out of the last five in which this metric has decelerated.
March estimated Knapp Track same-restaurant traffic growth came in at -1.9%. If the accounting period number is unchanged from the estimate, that will imply a sequential change in the two-year average trend of -5 bps. This would also mark the fourth month, out of the last five, in which this metric has decelerated.
Casual Dining Underperformance
Casual dining stocks, in aggregate, continue to slightly underperform the XLY Index. It is interesting to note that this underperformance has intensified over the past week, suggesting that casual dining stocks are really beginning to cool off as sales and traffic trends decelerate.