Why CEC Entertainment Shares Jumped


Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Chuck E. Cheese's operator CEC Entertainment soared 15% today after its quarterly results and guidance topped Wall Street expectations.

So what: The stock has slumped over the past couple of years on falling sales, but a wide first-quarter beat -- adjusted EPS of $1.90 on revenue of $255.3 million versus the consensus of $1.81 and $247.8 million -- coupled with upbeat guidance, suggests that things are starting to turn. In fact, comparable store sales increased 1.6% over the year-ago period, giving investors plenty of good vibes over management's new pricing and marketing initiatives going forward.

Now what: CEC now sees full-year 2013 EPS of $2.80-$2.95, nicely ahead of the average analyst estimate of $2.69. "We are fully committed to our strategic plan, and to returning capital to our shareholders as evidenced by our recently announced quarterly cash dividend of $0.24 per share and an additional authorization to repurchase $100 million under our stock repurchase plan," President and CEO Michael Magusiak said. Given CEC's still-hefty debt load and red-hot stock price, however, the risk/reward trade-off doesn't seem too appetizing at this point.

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The article Why CEC Entertainment Shares Jumped originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor Brian Pacampara has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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