CHARLOTTE, NC--(Marketwired - December 30, 2015) -
From the Desk of Mike Pruitt,
President and CEO of Chanticleer Holdings, Inc.
Dear Fellow Shareholders:
As we come to the end of another year and celebrate the holidays with friends and family, I wanted to take a moment to recap the progress we made this year and to address our Company's share price. As a significant shareholder myself, I too am feeling the pain of our declining stock price over the past four months. With our stock now trading near a 52-week low and below book value per share, I cannot remember a time when I felt our share price, and consequently our Company, was more undervalued. That being said, we are focused on leveraging the strength of the underlying fundamentals of our business and our valuable brands to drive growth and profitability in 2016.
Operationally, we are performing well. We completed the acquisition of three separate branded better-burger chains -- BGR: The Burger Joint, BT's Burger Joint, and Little Big Burger. These three strategic burger acquisitions have added 36 locations for a total of 62 restaurants and transformed our business model to take advantage of consumer loyalty to smaller, regional players while also maintaining our core involvement with the iconic Hooters brand. We anticipate opening more locations in 2016 and leveraging organic growth and franchising opportunities. In our most recent quarter, we reported improved same store sales of +16.2% in our Better Burger Segment, +7.1% in Just Fresh and +3% for Hooters U.S. locations. Our same store sales growth is a result of the expertise of our management team and their focus on driving operational efficiencies and improvements across our family of brands. Additionally, we are appreciative of the shareholder support that was shown for the two rights offerings that were completed this year, which enabled us to complete our better burger acquisitions and gave us the flexibility to reorganize and increase our stake in Hooters Australia.
Although our share price performed well in the first five months of 2015, unfortunately, we saw increased short interest in our stock as the year progressed. This was accompanied by negative and inaccurate articles. For example, one of the articles called into question our cash on hand stating that the Company had only $246,000, when in fact, we previously reported ending Q1 2015 with $3,325,000 in cash. It seems all too often that short sellers subscribe to an "end justifies the means" mentality. As a management team, we have remained laser focused on driving continued performance in the business; strong operating results will prevail. I encourage our investors to conduct their own research as to the value of our Company and I welcome any current or prospective shareholder to call or email me to discuss our ongoing strategy.
As Peter Lynch once said, "The real key to making money in stocks is not to get scared out of them." He also said, "I think you have to learn that there's a company behind every stock and there's only one reason why stocks go up (that being, either) companies go from doing poorly to doing well, or small companies grow to large companies."
Chanticleer management has demonstrated our ability to identify and acquire attractive businesses at accretive multiples and improve both the sales and operational performance of these acquisitions within a short time frame. I believe we have made great strides in the past three years -- moving from a startup company with an investment in Hooters of America (which we still maintain), to now having 62 restaurants and a relevant position in the fast growing better burger category. http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/8817886.
We have assembled a terrific team of managers in all of our regional and local markets/concepts and we take pride in the fact that we have very low turnover and consequently, have well tenured employees. This loyal employee base has requested the Company initiate an employee stock purchase plan and I am pleased to announce that we have retained an attorney to do so.
"Employees come first, if you treat them well they will take care of the customers which ultimately please the shareholders," Herb Kelleher, former CEO of Southwest Airlines.
As we close out 2015 and begin the New Year, I want our shareholders to know that they own a part of a growing, thriving company that is on a clear path to achieving profits driven by dedicated leadership, loyal employees, and franchisees. Given the acquisitions we completed in 2015, we have achieved a level of scale that we believe will allow us to organically grow our restaurant concepts in 2016 and beyond and to drive profitable financial performance.
On behalf of Chanticleer's management, Board of Directors, and employees, I want to personally thank you for your continued support.
President and CEO
Chanticleer Holdings, Inc.
About Chanticleer Holdings, Inc
Headquartered in Charlotte, NC, Chanticleer Holdings (NASDAQ: HOTR), together with its subsidiaries, owns and operates restaurant brands in the United States and internationally. The Company is a franchisee owner of Hooters® restaurants in international markets including Australia, South Africa, and Europe, and two Hooters restaurants in the United States. The Company also owns and operates American Burger Co., BGR the Burger Joint, BT's Burger Joint, Little Big Burger, and owns a majority interest in Just Fresh restaurants in the U.S.
For further information, please visit www.chanticleerholdings.com
Any statements that are not historical facts contained in this release are "forward-looking statements" as that term is defined under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (PSLRA), which statements may be identified by words such as "expects," "plans," "projects," "will," "may," "anticipates," "believes," "should," "intends," "estimates," and other words of similar meaning. Such forward-looking statements are based on current expectations, involve known and unknown risks, a reliance on third parties for information, transactions or orders that may be cancelled, and other factors that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements, or developments in our industry, to differ materially from the anticipated results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from anticipated results include risks and uncertainties related to the fluctuation of global economic conditions, the performance of management and our employees, our ability to obtain financing or required licenses, competition, general economic conditions and other factors that are detailed in our periodic reports and on documents we file from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date the statements were made, and the companies do not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements. We intend that all forward-looking statements be subject to the safe-harbor provisions of the PSLRA.
Chanticleer Holdings, Inc.
John Nesbett/Jennifer Belodeau
Institutional Marketing Services (IMS)