Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (CBRL: Quote) said its third quarter profit was up to $18.97 million or $0.81 per share from last year's $15.15 million or $0.64 per share.
Adjusted earnings per share were $0.86, up from $0.58 in the same quarter last year. On average, five analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report earnings of $0.75 per share. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.
Total revenue grew to $608.51 million from $582.53 million in the prior-year quarter. Analysts expected revenues of $609.40 million.
Comparable store restaurant sales were up 3.1%, including a 2.5% increase in average check, while comparable store retail sales were up 0.3% for the quarter.
"Driven by our strong sales, traffic and margin performance, our financial results, including our significantly increased operating margin, for the third quarter exceeded our expectations," said Sandra Cochran, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. "Comparable store traffic and sales outperformed the Knapp-Track Index for the quarter, and we are pleased to report positive traffic for the second consecutive quarter.."
Based upon year-to-date financial performance, recent trends and current estimates, the company raised its full-year earnings guidance for fiscal 2012.
The company now expects to report adjusted earnings per share for the fiscal year of between $4.35 and $4.45, excluding proxy contest and severance expenses totaling $0.21 per share. Earlier, the company projected adjusted earnings per share in the range of $4.20 - $4.35.
Cracker Barrel still expects total revenue for fiscal 2012 of between $2.55 billion and $2.6 billion, reflecting anticipated increases in comparable store restaurant and retail sales in a range of 1.5% and 2.0%, and the opening of 13 new Cracker Barrel stores in the current fiscal year. Analysts expect earnings per share of $4.31 per share, on revenues of $2.56 billion.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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