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July 10, 2020, 10:11 a.m. EDT

Wingstop downgraded as capital for expansion becomes scarce

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By Tonya Garcia

WING

Wingstop Inc. /zigman2/quotes/206814832/composite WING -0.65% was downgraded to neutral from buy at BTIG where analysts are concerned that the chicken chain's ability to expand will be constrained by a lack of funds. Wingstop has benefited from investments in digital and delivery during the coronavirus pandemic, and the company says 80% of its domestic business before the pandemic were off-premise. "We believe investors will now shift their focus to unit development, which could be stifled by access to capital," BTIG analysts led by Peter Saleh said. "We continue to hear that franchisees across quick service are eager to restart development and reimaging projects, but that access to capital is limiting the pace of these investments as bank lending has been diverted to supporting restaurants and small business owners." Analysts also think Wingstop's core customer will be hurt by the end of enhanced unemployment benefits later this month. Wingstop stock has rallied 58.6% for the year to date, compared with a 2.6% decline for the S&P 500 index [s:spx]. The steep increase makes this the right time to "move to the sidelines," BTIG said, though analysts are still confident about the company's long-term potential. Wingstop shares are down 1% in Friday trading.

/zigman2/quotes/206814832/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 132.73
-0.87 -0.65%
Volume: 6.54M
Sept. 18, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
138.13
Dividend Yield
0.42%
Market Cap
$3.95 billion
Rev. per Employee
$231,741
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