Company Quick10K Filing
El Pollo Loco
Price15.24 EPS1
Shares35 P/E21
MCap535 P/FCF15
Net Debt89 EBIT38
TEV624 TEV/EBIT16
TTM 2019-12-25, in MM, except price, ratios
10-Q 2021-03-31 Filed 2021-05-07
10-K 2020-12-30 Filed 2021-03-15
10-Q 2020-09-23 Filed 2020-10-30
10-Q 2020-06-24 Filed 2020-07-31
10-Q 2020-03-25 Filed 2020-05-01
10-K 2019-12-25 Filed 2020-03-06
10-Q 2019-09-25 Filed 2019-11-01
10-Q 2019-06-26 Filed 2019-08-02
10-Q 2019-03-27 Filed 2019-05-03
10-K 2018-12-26 Filed 2019-03-08
10-Q 2018-09-26 Filed 2018-11-02
10-Q 2018-06-27 Filed 2018-08-03
10-Q 2018-03-28 Filed 2018-05-07
10-K 2017-12-27 Filed 2018-03-09
10-Q 2017-09-27 Filed 2017-11-03
10-Q 2017-06-28 Filed 2017-08-07
10-Q 2017-03-29 Filed 2017-05-05
10-K 2016-12-28 Filed 2017-03-10
10-Q 2016-09-28 Filed 2016-11-04
10-Q 2016-06-29 Filed 2016-08-05
10-Q 2016-03-30 Filed 2016-05-06
10-K 2015-12-30 Filed 2016-03-11
10-Q 2015-09-30 Filed 2015-11-13
10-Q 2015-07-01 Filed 2015-08-14
10-Q 2015-04-01 Filed 2015-05-15
10-K 2014-12-31 Filed 2015-03-17
S-1 2014-11-10 Public Filing
10-Q 2014-09-24 Filed 2014-11-07
10-Q 2014-06-25 Filed 2014-09-05
S-1 2014-06-24 Public Filing
8-K 2020-10-29
8-K 2020-07-30
8-K 2020-06-02
8-K 2020-04-30
8-K 2020-04-08
8-K 2020-03-18
8-K 2020-03-05
8-K 2019-10-31
8-K 2019-08-01
8-K 2019-06-04
8-K 2019-05-02
8-K 2019-03-29
8-K 2019-03-07
8-K 2019-01-22
8-K 2018-11-01
8-K 2018-08-31
8-K 2018-08-02
8-K 2018-06-28
8-K 2018-06-05
8-K 2018-05-03
8-K 2018-03-08
8-K 2018-02-15
8-K 2018-01-16
8-K 2018-01-03

LOCO 10Q Quarterly Report

Part I - Financial Information
Item 1. Financial Statements.
Item 2. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.
Item 3. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk.
Item 4. Controls and Procedures.
Part II - Other Information
Item 1. Legal Proceedings.
Item 1A. Risk Factors.
Item 2. Unregistered Sales of Equity Securities and Use of Proceeds.
Item 3. Defaults Upon Senior Securities.
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures.
Item 5. Other Information.
Item 6. Exhibits.
EX-31.1 loco-20210331ex31156d295.htm
EX-31.2 loco-20210331ex31272f399.htm
EX-32.1 loco-20210331ex321a4ccab.htm

El Pollo Loco Earnings 2021-03-31

Balance SheetIncome StatementCash Flow
0.70.60.40.30.10.02013201520182021
Assets, Equity
0.20.10.10.0-0.0-0.12013201520182021
Rev, G Profit, Net Income
0.10.10.0-0.0-0.1-0.12013201520182021
Ops, Inv, Fin

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Table of Contents

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

FORM 10-Q

(Mark one)

QUARTERLY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the quarterly period ended March 31, 2021

or

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from                      to                     

Commission File Number: 001-36556

EL POLLO LOCO HOLDINGS, INC.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

Delaware

20-3563182

(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)

(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)

3535 Harbor Blvd., Suite 100, Costa Mesa, California

92626

(Address of principal executive offices)

(Zip Code)

(714) 599-5000

(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)

N/A

(Former name, former address and former fiscal year, if changed since last report)

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

Title of each class

Trading Symbol(s)

Name of each exchange on which registered

Common Stock, par value $0.01 per share

LOCO

The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.     Yes      No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).     Yes      No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

Large Accelerated Filer

Accelerated Filer

Non-accelerated Filer

Smaller Reporting Company

Emerging Growth Company

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.  

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).     Yes      No

As of April 30, 2021, there were 36,477,479 shares of the issuer’s common stock outstanding.

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Table of Contents

PART I—FINANCIAL INFORMATION

Item 1. Financial Statements.

EL POLLO LOCO HOLDINGS, INC.

CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS (UNAUDITED)

(Amounts in thousands, except share data)

    

March 31,

    

December 30,

    

2021

    

2020

Assets

  

Current assets:

  

  

Cash and cash equivalents

$

6,669

$

13,219

Accounts and other receivables, net

 

11,018

 

9,963

Inventories

 

1,928

 

2,100

Prepaid expenses and other current assets

 

4,438

 

3,865

Income tax receivable

 

615

 

2,522

Total current assets

 

24,668

 

31,669

Property and equipment, net

 

80,059

 

79,642

Property and equipment held under finance lease, net

 

1,830

 

1,661

Property and equipment held under operating leases, net (“ROU asset”)

 

176,838

 

177,129

Goodwill

 

248,674

 

248,674

Trademarks

 

61,888

 

61,888

Deferred tax assets

 

3,193

 

3,166

Other assets

 

1,431

 

1,392

Total assets

$

598,581

$

605,221

Liabilities and Stockholders’ Equity

 

  

 

  

Current liabilities:

 

  

 

  

Current portion of obligations under finance leases

$

134

$

70

Current portion of obligations under operating leases

 

19,949

 

19,907

Accounts payable

 

9,622

 

7,472

Accrued salaries and vacation

 

6,722

 

10,166

Accrued insurance

 

10,650

 

10,416

Accrued interest

 

97

 

89

Current portion of income tax receivable agreement payable

 

1,597

 

1,577

Other accrued expenses and current liabilities

 

17,587

 

16,715

Total current liabilities

 

66,358

 

66,412

Revolver loan

 

53,800

 

62,800

Obligations under finance leases, net of current portion

 

1,818

 

1,692

Obligations under operating leases, net of current portion

 

178,648

 

178,658

Deferred taxes

 

4,997

 

5,227

Income tax receivable agreement payable, net of current portion

 

1,465

 

1,562

Other noncurrent liabilities

 

8,633

 

11,292

Total liabilities

 

315,719

 

327,643

Commitments and contingencies (Note 7)

 

  

 

  

Stockholders’ Equity

 

  

 

  

Preferred stock, $0.01 par value, 100,000,000 shares authorized; none issued or outstanding

 

 

Common stock, $0.01 par value, 200,000,000 shares authorized; 36,478,683 and 36,423,505 shares issued and outstanding as of March 31, 2021 and December 30, 2020, respectively

 

365

 

364

Additional paid-in-capital

 

340,739

 

339,561

Accumulated deficit

 

(57,550)

 

(61,514)

Accumulated other comprehensive loss

 

(692)

 

(833)

Total stockholders’ equity

 

282,862

 

277,578

Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity

$

598,581

$

605,221

See notes to condensed consolidated financial statements (unaudited).

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EL POLLO LOCO HOLDINGS, INC.

CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME (UNAUDITED)

(Amounts in thousands, except share data)

    

Thirteen Weeks Ended

    

March 31, 2021

March 25, 2020

Revenue

 

  

 

  

 

Company-operated restaurant revenue

$

94,161

$

92,634

Franchise revenue

 

7,612

 

7,062

Franchise advertising fee revenue

 

5,948

 

5,467

Total revenue

 

107,721

 

105,163

Cost of operations

 

  

 

  

Food and paper cost

 

24,391

 

25,562

Labor and related expenses

 

30,732

 

28,693

Occupancy and other operating expenses

 

23,844

 

22,109

Company restaurant expenses

 

78,967

 

76,364

General and administrative expenses

 

10,474

 

9,331

Franchise expenses

 

7,751

 

6,911

Depreciation and amortization

 

3,938

 

4,369

Loss on disposal of assets

 

26

 

100

Impairment and closed-store reserves

 

564

 

2,402

Total expenses

 

101,720

 

99,477

Income from operations

 

6,001

 

5,686

Interest expense, net

 

517

 

905

Income tax receivable agreement income

 

(77)

 

(120)

Income before provision for income taxes

 

5,561

 

4,901

Provision for income taxes

 

1,597

 

1,301

Net income

$

3,964

$

3,600

Net income per share

 

  

 

  

Basic

$

0.11

$

0.10

Diluted

$

0.11

$

0.10

Weighted-average shares used in computing net income per share

 

  

 

  

Basic

 

35,795,205

 

34,659,160

Diluted

 

36,424,068

 

35,347,456

See notes to condensed consolidated financial statements (unaudited).

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EL POLLO LOCO HOLDINGS, INC.

CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF COMPREHENSIVE INCOME (UNAUDITED)

(Amounts in thousands)

    

Thirteen Weeks Ended

    

March 31, 2021

    

March 25, 2020

Net income

$

3,964

$

3,600

Other comprehensive income

 

 

Changes in derivative instruments

 

 

Unrealized net gains arising during the period from interest rate swap

 

78

 

1,459

Reclassifications of losses into net income

 

115

 

39

Income tax expense

 

(52)

 

(403)

Other comprehensive income (loss), net of taxes

141

 

(1,095)

Comprehensive income

$

4,105

$

2,505

See notes to condensed consolidated financial statements (unaudited).

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EL POLLO LOCO HOLDINGS, INC.

CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CHANGES IN STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY (UNAUDITED)

(Amounts in thousands, except share data)

Thirteen Weeks Ended March 31, 2021

    

    

    

    

    

Accumulated

    

  

    

    

    

Additional

    

    

Other

    

Total

Common Stock

Paid-in

Accumulated

Comprehensive

Stockholders’

    

Shares

    

Amount

    

Capital

    

Deficit

    

Income (Loss)

    

Equity

Balance, December 30, 2020

36,423,505

$

364

$

339,561

$

(61,514)

$

(833)

$

277,578

Stock-based compensation

 

 

853

 

 

 

853

Issuance of common stock upon exercise of stock options

61,419

1

325

326

Forfeiture of common stock related to restricted shares

(6,241)

 

 

 

 

 

Other comprehensive loss, net of tax

 

 

 

 

141

 

141

Net income

 

 

 

3,964

 

 

3,964

Balance, March 31, 2021

36,478,683

$

365

$

340,739

$

(57,550)

$

(692)

$

282,862

Thirteen Weeks Ended March 25, 2020

    

    

    

    

    

Accumulated

    

  

    

    

    

Additional

    

    

Other

    

Total

Common Stock

Paid-in

Accumulated

Comprehensive

Stockholders’

    

Shares

    

Amount

    

Capital

    

Deficit

    

Income (Loss)

    

Equity

Balance, December 25, 2019

35,126,582

$

351

$

330,950

$

(85,988)

$

253

$

245,566

Stock-based compensation

 

 

534

 

 

 

534

Forfeiture of common stock related to restricted shares

(36,599)

Other comprehensive income, net of tax

(1,095)

(1,095)

Net income

 

 

 

3,600

 

 

3,600

Balance, March 25, 2020

35,089,983

$

351

$

331,484

$

(82,388)

$

(842)

$

248,605

See notes to condensed consolidated financial statements (unaudited)

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EL POLLO LOCO HOLDINGS, INC.

CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS (UNAUDITED)

(Amounts in thousands)

    

Thirteen Weeks Ended

    

    

March 31, 2021

March 25, 2020

    

Cash flows from operating activities:

  

  

Net income

$

3,964

$

3,600

Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash flows provided by operating activities:

 

 

Depreciation and amortization

 

3,938

 

4,369

Stock-based compensation expense

 

853

 

534

Income tax receivable agreement income

 

(77)

 

(120)

Loss on disposal of assets

 

26

 

100

Impairment of property and equipment

 

303

 

1,920

Amortization of deferred financing costs

 

62

 

63

Deferred income taxes, net

 

(310)

 

916

Changes in operating assets and liabilities:

 

 

Accounts and other receivables

 

(1,055)

 

(3,569)

Inventories

 

172

 

(83)

Prepaid expenses and other current assets

 

(572)

 

1,111

Income taxes receivable/payable

 

1,907

 

38

Other assets

 

(101)

 

201

Accounts payable

 

2,811

 

490

Accrued salaries and vacation

 

(3,444)

 

(999)

Accrued insurance

 

234

 

442

Other accrued expenses and liabilities

 

(1,313)

 

(16,539)

Net cash flows provided by (used in) operating activities

 

7,398

 

(7,526)

Cash flows from investing activities:

 

Purchase of property and equipment

 

(5,257)

 

(1,632)

Net cash flows used in investing activities

 

(5,257)

 

(1,632)

Cash flows from financing activities:

 

  

 

  

Proceeds from borrowings on revolver and swingline loans

 

 

52,500

Payments on revolver and swingline loan

 

(9,000)

 

(8,000)

Proceeds from issuance of common stock upon exercise of stock options, net of expenses

326

Payment of obligations under finance leases

 

(17)

 

(8)

Net cash flows (used in) provided by financing activities

 

(8,691)

 

44,492

Increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents

 

(6,550)

 

35,334

Cash and cash equivalents, beginning of period

 

13,219

 

8,070

Cash and cash equivalents, end of period

$

6,669

$

43,404

    

Thirteen Weeks Ended

    

March 31, 2021

March 25, 2020

Supplemental cash flow information

 

  

 

  

 

Cash paid during the period for interest

$

334

$

1,112

Unpaid purchases of property and equipment

$

1,172

$

1,085

See notes to condensed consolidated financial statements (unaudited).

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EL POLLO LOCO HOLDINGS, INC.

NOTES TO CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS (UNAUDITED)

1. BASIS OF PRESENTATION AND SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES

Overview

El Pollo Loco Holdings, Inc. (“Holdings”) is a Delaware corporation headquartered in Costa Mesa, California. Holdings and its direct and indirect subsidiaries are collectively referred to herein as “we,” “us” or the “Company.” The Company’s activities are conducted principally through its indirect wholly-owned subsidiary, El Pollo Loco, Inc. (“EPL”), which develops, franchises, licenses, and operates quick-service restaurants under the name El Pollo Loco® and operates under one operating segment. At March 31, 2021, the Company operated 198 and franchised 283 El Pollo Loco restaurants.

Basis of Presentation

The accompanying unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements of the Company have been prepared in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”) for interim financial statements and pursuant to the rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). In the opinion of management, the accompanying unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements reflect all adjustments consisting of normal recurring adjustments necessary for a fair statement of the Company’s consolidated financial position and results of operations and cash flows for the periods presented. Interim results of operations are not necessarily indicative of the results that may be achieved for the full year. The condensed consolidated financial statements and related notes do not include all information and footnotes required by GAAP for annual reports. This quarterly report should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements included in the Company’s annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 30, 2020.

The Company uses a 52- or 53-week fiscal year ending on the last Wednesday of the calendar year. In a 52-week fiscal year, each quarter includes 13 weeks of operations; in a 53-week fiscal year, the first, second and third quarters each include 13 weeks of operations, and the fourth quarter includes 14 weeks of operations. Every six or seven years, a 53-week fiscal year occurs. Fiscal 2021 is a 52-week year ending on December 29, 2021, and fiscal 2020 was a 53-week year ended on December 30, 2020. Revenues, expenses, and other financial and operational figures may be elevated in a 53-week year.

Holdings has no material assets or operations. Holdings and Holdings’ direct subsidiary, EPL Intermediate, Inc. (“Intermediate”), guarantee EPL’s 2018 Revolver (as defined below) on a full and unconditional basis (see Note 4, “Long-Term Debt”), and Intermediate has no subsidiaries other than EPL. EPL is a separate and distinct legal entity and has no obligation to make funds available to Intermediate. EPL and Intermediate may pay dividends to Intermediate and to Holdings, respectively, subject to the terms of the 2018 Revolver.

Principles of Consolidation

The accompanying condensed consolidated financial statements include the accounts of Holdings and its wholly owned subsidiaries. All intercompany balances and transactions have been eliminated in consolidation.

Use of Estimates

The preparation of condensed consolidated financial statements in conformity with GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosures of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the condensed consolidated financial statements and revenue and expenses during the periods reported. Actual results could materially differ from those estimates. The Company’s significant estimates include estimates for impairment of goodwill, intangible assets and property and equipment, insurance reserves, lease accounting matters, stock-based compensation, income tax receivable agreement liability, contingent liabilities and income tax valuation allowances.

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COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly disrupted our restaurant operations. Following the pandemic declaration in March 2020, federal, state and local governments began to respond to the public health crisis by requiring social distancing, “stay at home” directives, and restaurant restrictions - including government-mandated dining room closures - that limited business to off-premise services only (take-out, drive-thru and delivery). Historically, approximately 20% of the Company’s sales are associated with dine-in service. Many state and local governments continue to periodically implement certain restrictions to try and contain the spread of the virus. As of March 31, 2021, the majority of the Company’s restaurants have dining rooms open at a limited capacity and continue to maintain take-away, mobile pick-up, delivery, and drive-thru operations where available. During the last two months of 2020 and early 2021, the Los Angeles market was heavily impacted by an increase in COVID-19 cases. Due to our high concentration of restaurants in this market, the Company was disproportionately impacted by this spike. During the thirteen weeks ended March 31, 2021, the Company temporarily closed 45 restaurants, of which all have reopened as of March 31, 2021. Similarly, during the thirteen weeks ended March 31, 2021, certain of the Company’s franchisees temporarily closed 15 restaurants, all of which have reopened as of March 31, 2021. For both franchise-operated and company-operated restaurants, this represents total temporary closures and may include more than one closure for the same restaurant. These closures typically lasted from one to three days. As of March 31, 2021, the Company had not permanently closed any restaurants due to the COVID-19 pandemic. See “Subsequent Events” below for the status of temporary restaurant closures after March 31, 2021

During the thirteen weeks ended March 31, 2021, the Company incurred $2.8 million in COVID-19 related expenses, primarily due to leaves of absence and overtime pay.

Subsequent Events

Subsequent to March 31, 2021, the Company has temporarily closed two restaurants, typically for one to three days, and franchisees have not temporarily closed any restaurants. As of May 6, 2021, all company-operated and franchise locations remained open.

The Company has evaluated subsequent events that have occurred after March 31, 2021, and determined that there were no other events or transactions occurring during this reporting period that require recognition or disclosure in the condensed consolidated financial statements.

Cash and Cash Equivalents

The Company considers all liquid instruments with an original maturity of three months or less at the date of purchase to be cash equivalents.

Liquidity

The Company’s principal liquidity and capital requirements are new restaurants, existing restaurant capital investments (remodels and maintenance), interest payments on our debt, lease obligations and working capital and general corporate needs. At March 31, 2021, the Company’s total debt was $53.8 million. The Company’s ability to make payments on its indebtedness and to fund planned capital expenditures depends on available cash and its ability to generate adequate cash flows in the future, which, to a certain extent, is subject to general economic, financial, competitive, legislative, regulatory, and other factors that are beyond the Company’s control. Based on current operations, the Company believes that its cash flow from operations and available cash of $6.7 million at March 31, 2021 will be adequate to meet the Company’s liquidity needs for the next twelve months from the date of filing of these condensed consolidated financial statements. However, depending on the severity and longevity of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Company’s financial performance and liquidity could be further impacted and could impact the Company’s ability to meet certain covenants required in its 2018 Credit Agreement (as defined below), specifically the lease-adjusted coverage ratio and fixed-charge coverage ratio.

Recently Adopted Accounting Pronouncements

In January 2021, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) issued Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”) No. 2021-01, “Reference Rate Reform (Topic 848): Scope” which clarifies the FASB’s recent rate reform guidance in

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Topic 848, Reference Rate Reform, that optional expedients and exceptions therein for contract modification and hedge accounting apply to derivatives that are affected by the discontinuation of the London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) and the use of new interest rate benchmarks. ASU 2021-01 is effective immediately. Entities may choose to apply the amendments retrospectively as of any date from the beginning of an interim period that includes or is subsequent to March 12, 2020, or prospectively to new modifications from any date within an interim period that includes or is subsequent to January 7, 2021, up to the date that financial statements are available to be issued. The Company adopted this ASU on January 7, 2021. The adoption of ASU 2021-01 did not have a significant impact on the Company’s consolidated financial position or results of operations.

In October 2020, the FASB issued ASU No. 2020-10, “Codification Improvements,” which improve the consistency of the codification by including all disclosure guidance in the appropriate Disclosure Section (Section 50). ASU 2020-10 is effective for annual periods beginning after December 15, 2020, and for interim periods within annual periods beginning after December 15, 2020. The Company adopted this ASU during the first quarter of 2021. The adoption of ASU 2020-10 did not have a significant impact on the Company’s consolidated financial position or results of operations.

In December 2019, the FASB issued ASU No. 2019-12, “Income Taxes (Topic 740): Simplifying the Accounting for Income Taxes”, which modifies Topic 740 to simplify the accounting for income taxes. ASU 2019-12 is effective for financial statements issued for annual periods beginning after December 15, 2020, and for the interim periods therein. The Company adopted this ASU during the first quarter of 2021. The adoption of ASU 2019-12 did not have a significant impact on the Company’s consolidated financial position or results of operations.

Concentration of Risk

Cash and cash equivalents are maintained at financial institutions and, at times, these balances may exceed federally-insured limits. The Company has never experienced any losses related to these balances.

The Company had one supplier to whom amounts due totaled 28.5% of the Company’s accounts payable at March 31, 2021. At December 30, 2020, the Company had two suppliers to whom amounts due totaled 24.2% and 11.4% of the Company’s accounts payable. Purchases from the Company’s largest supplier totaled 25.5% of total expenses for the thirteen weeks ended March 31, 2021, and 27.4% of total expenses for the thirteen weeks ended March 25, 2020.

Company-operated and franchised restaurants in the greater Los Angeles area generated, in the aggregate, approximately 70.1% of total revenue for the thirteen weeks ended March 31, 2021, and 72.4% for the thirteen weeks ended March 25, 2020.

Goodwill and Indefinite Lived Intangible Assets

The Company’s indefinite-lived intangible assets consist of trademarks. Goodwill represents the excess of cost over fair value of net identified assets acquired in business combinations accounted for under the purchase method. The Company does not amortize its goodwill and indefinite-lived intangible assets. Goodwill resulted from the acquisition of certain franchise locations.

Upon the sale or closure of a restaurant, the Company evaluates whether there is a decrement of goodwill. The amount of goodwill included in the cost basis of the asset sold is determined based on the relative fair value of the portion of the reporting unit disposed of compared to the fair value of the reporting unit retained. The Company determined there was no decrement of goodwill related to the disposition of restaurants during the thirteen weeks ended March 25, 2020.

The Company performs an annual impairment test for goodwill during the fourth fiscal quarter of each year, or more frequently if impairment indicators arise.

The Company reviews goodwill for impairment utilizing either a qualitative assessment or a fair value test by comparing the fair value of a reporting unit with its carrying amount. If the Company decides that it is appropriate to perform a qualitative assessment and concludes that the fair value of a reporting unit more likely than not exceeds its carrying value, no further evaluation is necessary. If the Company performs the fair value test, the Company will compare the fair value of a reporting unit with its carrying amount, including goodwill. If the fair value of a reporting unit exceeds its carrying amount, goodwill of the reporting unit is considered not impaired. If the carrying amount of a reporting unit

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exceeds its fair value, the Company will recognize an impairment charge for the amount by which the carrying amount exceeds the reporting unit’s fair value; however, the loss recognized cannot exceed the total amount of goodwill allocated to that reporting unit.

The Company performs an annual impairment test for indefinite-lived intangible assets during the fourth fiscal quarter of each year, or more frequently if impairment indicators arise. An impairment test consists of either a qualitative assessment or a comparison of the fair value of an intangible asset with its carrying amount. The excess of the carrying amount of an intangible asset over its fair value is recognized as an impairment loss.

The assumptions used in the estimate of fair value are generally consistent with the past performance of the Company’s reporting segment and are also consistent with the projections and assumptions that are used in current operating plans. These assumptions are subject to change as a result of changing economic and competitive conditions.

The Company determined that there were no indicators of potential impairment of its goodwill and indefinite-lived intangible assets during the thirteen weeks ended March 31, 2021. Accordingly, the Company did not record any impairment to its goodwill or indefinite-lived intangible assets during the thirteen weeks ended March 31, 2021. The ultimate severity and longevity of the COVID-19 pandemic is unknown, and therefore, it is possible that impairments could be identified in future periods, and such amounts could be material.

Fair Value Measurements

Fair value is the price that would be received to sell an asset or paid to transfer a liability in an orderly transaction between market participants at the measurement date. Financial assets and liabilities carried at fair value are classified and disclosed in one of the following three categories:

Level 1: Quoted prices for identical instruments in active markets.
Level 2: Observable prices for similar instruments in active markets; quoted prices for identical or similar instruments in markets that are not active; and model-derived valuations whose inputs or significant value drivers are observable.
Level 3: Unobservable inputs used when little or no market data is available.

During fiscal 2019, the Company entered into an interest rate swap, which is required to be measured at fair value on a recurring basis. The fair value was determined based on Level 2 inputs, which include valuation models, as reported by the Company’s counterparty. These valuation models use a discounted cash flow analysis on the cash flows of the derivative based on the terms of the contract and the forward yield curves adjusted for the Company’s credit risk. The key inputs for the valuation models are observable market prices, discount rates, and forward yield curves. See Note 4, “Long-Term Debt” for further discussion regarding our interest rate swaps.

The following table presents fair value for the interest rate swap at March 31, 2021 (in thousands):

Fair Value Measurements Using

    

Fair Value

    

Level 1

    

Level 2

    

Level 3

    

Other non-current liabilities - Interest rate swap

$

946

$

$

946

$

The following table presents fair value for the interest rate swap at December 30, 2020 (in thousands):

Fair Value Measurements Using

    

Fair Value

    

Level 1

    

Level 2

    

Level 3

    

Other non-current liabilities - Interest rate swap

$

1,139

$

$

1,139

$

Certain assets and liabilities are measured at fair value on a nonrecurring basis. In other words, the instruments are not measured at fair value on an ongoing basis, but are subject to fair value adjustments only in certain circumstances (e.g., when there is evidence of impairment).

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The following non-financial instruments were measured at fair value, on a nonrecurring basis, as of and for the thirteen weeks ended March 31, 2021 reflecting certain property and equipment assets and right-of-use (“ROU”) assets, for which an impairment loss was recognized during the corresponding periods, as discussed immediately below under “Impairment of Long-Lived Assets and ROU Assets” (in thousands):

    

Total

    

Level 1

    

Level 2

    

Level 3

Impairment Losses

Certain property and equipment, net

$

$

$

$

 

$

240

Certain ROU assets, net

$

1,147

$

$

$

1,147

$

63

The following non-financial instruments were measured at fair value on a nonrecurring basis as of and for the thirteen weeks ended March 25, 2020 reflecting certain property and equipment assets for which an impairment loss was recognized during the corresponding periods, as discussed immediately below under “Impairment of Long-Lived Assets and ROU Assets” (in thousands):

    

Total

    

Level 1

    

Level 2

    

Level 3

 

Impairment Losses

Certain property and equipment, net

$

39

$

$

$

39

 

$

1,377

Certain ROU assets, net

$

926

926

543

Impairment of Long-Lived Assets and ROU Assets

The Company reviews its long-lived and ROU assets for impairment on a restaurant-by-restaurant basis whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying value of certain long-lived and ROU assets may not be recoverable. The Company considers a triggering event related to long-lived assets or ROU assets in a net asset position to have occurred related to a specific restaurant if the restaurant’s cash flows for the last twelve months are less than a minimum threshold or if consistent levels of undiscounted cash flows for the remaining lease period are less than the carrying value of the restaurant’s assets. Additionally, the Company considers a triggering event related to ROU assets to have occurred related to a specific lease if the location has been subleased and future estimated sublease income is less than lease payments under the head lease. If the Company concludes that the carrying value of certain long-lived and ROU assets will not be recovered based on expected undiscounted future cash flows, an impairment loss is recorded to reduce the long-lived or ROU assets to their estimated fair value. The fair value is measured on a nonrecurring basis using unobservable (Level 3) inputs. There is uncertainty in the projected undiscounted future cash flows used in the Company’s impairment review analysis, which requires the use of estimates and assumptions. If actual performance does not achieve the projections, or if the assumptions used change in the future, the Company may be required to recognize impairment charges in future periods, and such charges could be material. The Company determined that triggering events occurred for certain restaurants during the thirteen weeks ended March 31, 2021 that required an impairment review of certain of the Company’s long-lived and ROU assets. Based on the results of the analysis, the Company recorded non-cash impairment charges of $0.3 million for the thirteen weeks ended March 31, 2021, primarily related to the carrying value of the ROU assets of one restaurant in Texas closed in 2019 and the long-lived assets of three restaurants in California.

The Company recorded a non-cash impairment charge of $1.9 million for the thirteen weeks ended March 25, 2020, primarily related to the carrying value of the ROU assets of one restaurant in California and the long-lived assets of three restaurants in California. Given the inherent uncertainty in projecting results for newer restaurants in newer markets, as well as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Company is monitoring the recoverability of the carrying value of the assets of several restaurants on an ongoing basis. For these restaurants, if expected performance is not realized, an impairment charge may be recognized in future periods, and such charge could be material.

Closed-Store Reserves

When a restaurant is closed, the Company will evaluate the ROU asset for impairment, based on anticipated sublease recoveries. The remaining value of the ROU asset is amortized on a straight-line basis, with the expense recognized in closed-store reserve expense. Additionally, any property tax and common area maintenance (“CAM”) payments relating to closed restaurants are included within closed-store expense. During the thirteen weeks ended March 31, 2021, the Company recognized $0.3 million of closed-store reserve expense related to the amortization of ROU assets, property taxes and CAM payments for its closed locations. During the thirteen weeks ended March 25, 2020, the Company

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recognized $0.5 million of closed-store reserve expense, primarily related to the amortization of ROU assets, property taxes and CAM payments for its closed locations.

Derivative Financial Instruments

The Company uses an interest rate swap, a derivative instrument, to hedge interest rate risk and not for trading purposes. The derivative contract is entered into with a financial institution.

The Company records the derivative instrument on its condensed consolidated balance sheets at fair value. The derivative instrument qualifies as a hedging instrument in a qualifying cash flow hedge relationship, and the gain or loss on the derivative instrument is reported as a component of accumulated other comprehensive (loss) income (“AOCI”) and reclassified into earnings in the same period or periods during which the hedged transaction affects earnings. For any derivative instruments not designated as hedging instruments, the gain or loss will be recognized in earnings immediately. If a derivative previously designated as a hedge is terminated, or no longer meets the qualifications for hedge accounting, any balances in AOCI will be reclassified to earnings immediately.

As a result of the use of an interest rate swap, the Company is exposed to risk that the counterparty will fail to meet their contractual obligations. To mitigate the counterparty credit risk, the Company will only enter into contracts with major financial institutions, based upon their credit ratings and other factors, and will continue to assess the creditworthiness of the counterparty. As of March 31, 2021, the counterparty to the Company’s interest rate swap has performed in accordance with its contractual obligation.

Income Taxes

The provision for income taxes, income taxes payable and deferred income taxes is determined using the asset and liability method. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are determined based on temporary differences between the financial carrying amounts and the tax bases of assets and liabilities using enacted tax rates in effect in the years in which the temporary differences are expected to reverse. On a periodic basis, the Company assesses the probability that its net deferred tax assets, if any, will be recovered. If, after evaluating all of the positive and negative evidence, a conclusion is made that it is more likely than not that some portion or all of the net deferred tax assets will not be recovered, a valuation allowance is provided by charging to tax expense a reserve for the portion of deferred tax assets which are not expected to be realized.

The Company reviews its filing positions for all open tax years in all U.S. federal and state jurisdictions where the Company is required to file.

When there are uncertainties related to potential income tax benefits, in order to qualify for recognition, the position the Company takes has to have at least a “more likely than not” chance of being sustained (based on the position’s technical merits) upon challenge by the respective authorities. The term “more likely than not” means a likelihood of more than 50 percent. Otherwise, the Company may not recognize any of the potential tax benefit associated with the position. The Company recognizes a benefit for a tax position that meets the “more likely than not” criterion at the largest amount of tax benefit that is greater than 50 percent likely of being realized upon its effective resolution. Unrecognized tax benefits involve management’s judgment regarding the likelihood of the benefit being sustained. The final resolution of uncertain tax positions could result in adjustments to recorded amounts and may affect the Company’s consolidated financial position, results of operations, and cash flows.

The Company’s policy is to recognize interest and penalties related to income tax matters in income tax expense. The Company had no accrual for interest or penalties at March 31, 2021 or at December 30, 2020. During fiscal 2020 the Company recognized interest of $0.1 million related to the Notice of Proposed Adjustment (“NOPA”), discussed below. The Company did not recognize interest or penalties during the thirteen weeks ended March 25, 2020, since there were no material unrecognized tax benefits. Management believes no significant changes to the amount of unrecognized tax benefits will occur within the next twelve months.

On July 30, 2014, the Company entered into the income tax receivable agreement (the “TRA”), which calls for the Company to pay to its pre-initial public offering (“IPO”) stockholders 85% of the savings in cash that the Company realizes in its income taxes as a result of utilizing its net operating losses (“NOLs”) and other tax attributes attributable to preceding periods. For the thirteen weeks ended March 31, 2021, the Company recorded income tax receivable

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agreement income of less than $0.1 million, and for the thirteen weeks ended March 25, 2020, the Company recorded income tax receivable agreement income of $0.1 million, related to the amortization of interest expense related to the total expected TRA payments and changes in estimates for actual tax returns filed and future forecasted taxable income.

On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed into a law a stimulus package, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”), which contains several tax provisions and deferral of employer Social Security taxes that are otherwise owed for wage payments. The tax provisions include a correction of a previous drafting error related to quality improvement property (“QIP”) and immediate refundability of all remaining alternative minimum tax (“AMT”) credits. The new provisions did not have a material impact on the Company’s condensed consolidated financial statements.

During the thirteen weeks ended March 25, 2020, the Company received a NOPA for the years ended December 27, 2017 and December 28, 2016, related to the Company’s methodology regarding its ordering of utilization of AMT NOL. This resulted in payment of $0.4 million, and the audit is closed. As a result of the CARES Act, discussed above, this amount is immediately refundable upon filing of a Form 1139, which the Company filed during fiscal 2020 and recognized a receivable, included in Accounts and other receivables within the condensed consolidated balance sheet as of March 31, 2021. Subsequent to March 31, 2021, the Company received a refund totaling $0.5 million.

2. PROPERTY AND EQUIPMENT

The costs and related accumulated depreciation and amortization of major classes of property and equipment are as follows (in thousands):

    

March 31, 2021

    

December 30, 2020

Land

$

12,323

$

12,323

Buildings and improvements

 

149,923

 

147,939

Other property and equipment

 

78,449

 

77,177

Construction in progress

 

4,318

 

3,567

 

245,013

 

241,006

Less: accumulated depreciation and amortization

 

(164,954)

 

(161,364)

$

80,059

$

79,642

Depreciation expense was $3.9 million and $4.4 million for the thirteen weeks ended March 31, 2021 and March 25, 2020, respectively.

Based on the Company’s review of its long-lived assets for impairment, the Company recorded non-cash impairment charges of $0.2 million for the thirteen weeks ended March 31, 2021, primarily related to the carrying value of the assets of three restaurants in California. During the thirteen weeks ended March 25, 2020, the Company recorded non-cash impairment charges of $1.4 million, primarily related to the carrying value of the assets of three restaurants in California. Depending on the severity and longevity of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Company’s financial performance could be further impacted and it is possible that material impairments could be identified in future periods. See Note 1, “Basis of Presentation and Summary of Significant Accounting Policies – Impairment of Long-Lived Assets and ROU Assets” for additional information.

3. STOCK-BASED COMPENSATION

At March 31, 2021, options to purchase 969,447 shares of common stock were outstanding, including 623,588 that are vested and 345,859 that are unvested. Unvested options vest over time; however, upon a change in control, the Board of Directors may accelerate vesting. At March 31, 2021, 260,967 premium options, which are options granted above the stock price at date of grant, remained outstanding. A summary of stock option activity as of March 31, 2021 and changes during the thirteen weeks ended March 31, 2021 is as follows:

Weighted-Average

 

Aggregate

    

    

Weighted-Average

 

 Contractual Life

 

Intrinsic Value

Shares

Exercise Price

 

Life (Years)

 

(in thousands)

Outstanding - December 30, 2020

 

1,030,866

$

9.82

Exercised

 

(61,419)

 

5.31

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Outstanding - March 31, 2021

 

969,447

$

10.10

5.51

$

5,884

Vested and expected to vest at March 31, 2021

 

966,137

$

10.10

5.50

$

5,868

Exercisable at March 31, 2021

 

623,588

$

9.39

4.29

$

4,212

At March 31, 2021, the Company had total unrecognized compensation expense of $0.9 million related to unvested stock options, which it expects to recognize over a weighted-average period of 1.77 years.

A summary of restricted share activity as of March 31, 2021 and changes during the thirteen weeks ended March 31, 2021 is as follows:

    

    

Weighted-Average

Shares

Fair Value

Unvested shares at December 30, 2020

 

742,404

$

11.68

Forfeited, cancelled, or expired

 

(6,241)

$

12.02

Unvested shares at March 31, 2021

 

736,163

$

11.68

Unvested shares at March 31, 2021, included 652,027 unvested restricted shares, 36,058 unvested performance stock units and 48,078 unvested restricted units.

At March 31, 2021, the Company had unrecognized compensation expense of $5.6 million related to unvested restricted shares, which it expects to recognize over a weighted-average period of 2.58 years, unrecognized compensation expense of $0.1 million related to performance stock units, which it expects to recognize over a weighted-average period of 2.11 years and unrecognized compensation expense of $0.3 million related to unvested restricted units, which it expects to recognize over a weighted-average period of 1.11 years.

Total stock-based compensation expense was $0.9 million for the thirteen weeks ended March 31, 2021, and $0.5 million for the thirteen weeks ended March 25, 2020.

4. LONG-TERM DEBT

On July 13, 2018, the Company refinanced a credit agreement with Bank of America, N.A., initially entered into on December 11, 2014 (the “2014 Revolver”), pursuant to a credit agreement (the “2018 Credit Agreement”) among EPL, as borrower, and the Company and Intermediate, as guarantors, Bank of America, N.A., as administrative agent, swingline lender, and letter of credit issuer, the lenders party thereto, and the other parties thereto, which provides for a $150.0 million five-year senior secured revolving credit facility (the “2018 Revolver”). The 2018 Revolver includes a sub limit of $15.0 million for letters of credit and a sub limit of $15.0 million for swingline loans. The 2018 Revolver and 2018 Credit Agreement will mature on July 13, 2023. The obligations under the 2018 Credit Agreement and related loan documents are guaranteed by the Company and Intermediate. The obligations of the Company, EPL and Intermediate under the 2018 Credit Agreement and related loan documents are secured by a first priority lien on substantially all of their respective assets.

Under the 2018 Revolver, Holdings may not make certain payments such as cash dividends, except that it may, inter alia, (i) pay up to $1.0 million per year to repurchase or redeem qualified equity interests of Holdings held by past or present officers, directors, or employees (or their estates) of the Company upon death, disability, or termination of employment, (ii) pay under its TRA, and (iii) so long as no default or event of default has occurred and is continuing, (a) make non-cash repurchases of equity interests in connection with the exercise of stock options by directors, officers and management, provided that those equity interests represent a portion of the consideration of the exercise price of those stock options, (b) pay up to $0.5 million in any 12 month consecutive period to redeem, repurchase or otherwise acquire equity interests of any subsidiary that is not a wholly-owned subsidiary from any holder of equity interest in such subsidiary, (c) pay up to $2.5 million per year pursuant to stock option plans, employment agreements, or incentive plans, (d) make up to $5.0 million in other restricted payments per year, and (e) make other restricted payments, subject to its compliance, on a pro forma basis, with (x) a lease-adjusted consolidated leverage ratio not to exceed 4.25 times and (y) the financial covenants applicable to the 2018 Revolver.

Borrowings under the 2018 Credit Agreement (other than any swingline loans) bear interest, at the borrower’s option, at rates based upon either LIBOR or a base rate, plus, for each rate, a margin determined in accordance with a lease-adjusted consolidated leverage ratio-based pricing grid. The base rate is calculated as the highest of (a) the federal funds

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rate plus 0.50%, (b) the published Bank of America prime rate, or (c) LIBOR plus 1.00%. For LIBOR loans, the margin is in the range of 1.25% to 2.25%, and for base rate loans the margin is in a range of 0.25% to 1.25%. Borrowings under the 2018 Revolver may be repaid and reborrowed. The interest rate range was 1.36% to 1.65% for the thirteen weeks ended March 31, 2021 respectively, and 3.11% to 3.29% for the thirteen weeks ended March 25, 2020.

The 2018 Credit Agreement contains certain financial covenants. The Company was in compliance with the financial covenants as of March 31, 2021. However, depending on the severity and longevity of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Company’s financial performance and liquidity could be further impacted and could impact the Company’s ability to comply with certain financial covenants required in the 2018 Credit Agreement, specifically the lease-adjusted coverage ratio and fixed-charge coverage ratio.

At March 31, 2021, $8.4 million of letters of credit and $53.8 million in borrowings under the 2018 Revolver were outstanding. The Company had $87.8 million in borrowing availability under the 2018 Revolver at March 31, 2021.

Maturities

During the thirteen weeks ended March 31, 2021, the Company elected to pay down $9.0 million on its 2018 Revolver. During the thirteen weeks ended March 25, 2020, the Company borrowed $44.5 million, net of pay downs of $8.0 million on the Company’s 2018 Revolver, primarily as a precautionary measure to bolster its existing cash position, related to the uncertainty regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as to fund settlement payments. There are no required principal payments prior to maturity for the 2018 Revolver.

Interest Rate Swap

During the year ended December 25, 2019, the Company entered into a variable-to-fixed interest rate swap agreement with a notional amount of $40.0 million that matures in June 2023. The objective of the interest rate swap was to reduce the Company’s exposure to interest rate risk for a portion of its variable-rate interest payments on its borrowings under the 2018 Revolver. Under the terms of the swap agreement, the variable LIBOR-based component of interest payments was converted to a fixed rate of 1.31%, plus applicable margin, which was 1.5% for the thirteen weeks ended March 31, 2021. The interest rate swap was designated as a cash flow hedge, as the changes in the future cash flows of the swap were expected to offset changes in expected future interest payments on the related variable-rate debt, in accordance with Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) 815 “Derivatives and Hedging.”

The changes in the fair value of the interest rate swap are not included in earnings, but are included in other comprehensive (loss) income (“OCI”). These changes in fair value are subsequently reclassified into net earnings as a component of interest expense as the hedged interest payments are made on the variable rate borrowings.

For the thirteen weeks ended March 31, 2021, the swap was a highly effective cash flow hedge.

As of March 31, 2021, the estimated net loss included in AOCI related to the Company’s cash flow hedge that will be reclassified into earnings in the next 12 months is $0.5 million, based on current LIBOR interest rates.

The following table shows the financial statement line item and amount of the Company’s cash flow hedge accounting on the condensed consolidated balance sheets (in thousands):

March 31, 2021

December 30, 2020

    

Notional

    

Fair value

    

Notional

    

Fair value

Other liabilities - Interest rate swap

$

40,000

$

946

$

40,000

$

1,139

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The following table summarizes the effect of the Company’s cash flow hedge accounting on the condensed consolidated statements of income (in thousands):

    

Thirteen Weeks Ended

    

    

March 31, 2021

    

March 25, 2020

    

Interest expense on hedged portion of debt

$

200

$

429

Interest expense (income) on interest rate swap

 

78

 

(39)

 

Interest expense on debt and derivatives, net

$

278

$

390

The following table summarizes the effect of the Company’s cash flow hedge accounting on AOCI for the thirteen weeks ended March 31, 2021 and March 25, 2020 (in thousands):

Thirteen Weeks Ended

Loss (Gain) Reclassified from

Net (Loss) Gain Recognized in OCI

AOCI into Interest expense

    

March 31, 2021

    

March 25, 2020

    

March 31, 2021

    

March 25, 2020

Interest rate swap

$

78

 

1,459

$

115

 

(39)

See Note 1, “Basis of Presentation and Summary of Significant Accounting Policies” for information about the fair value of the Company’s derivative asset.

5. OTHER ACCRUED EXPENSES AND CURRENT LIABILITIES

Other accrued expenses and current liabilities consist of the following (in thousands):

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