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Cracker Barrel Q4 Profit Rises, Revenue Tops View - Update


Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (CBRL) Wednesday reported higher profit for the fourth quarter, as sales climbed 14 percent from last year, benefiting partly from an extra week. Adjusted earnings improved from last year, but missed Street view, while revenues topped estimates. The stock is up nearly 7 percent in pre-market trading.

The Board of Directors recently increased the quarterly dividend by 25 percent to $0.50 per share. Additionally, the Board approved a new share repurchase program for up to $100 million of the company's outstanding common stock.

The Lebanon, Tennessee-based company engages in the development and operation of the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store restaurant and retail concept.

Net income for the quarter increased to $34.7 million or $1.47 per share from $17.5 million or $0.75 per share in the prior year.

Adjusted for the impact of an extra week in the current year, among others, earnings per share was $1.20 for the quarter. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report a profit of $1.30 per share. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Total revenue increased to $700.0 million from $612.94 million last year. Analysts expected revenues of $685.35 million for the quarter.

On a comparable basis, store traffic increased 1.4 percent, store restaurant sales rose 3.8 percent and store retail sales grew 3.1 percent.

Cracker Barrel President and Chief Executive Officer Sandra Cochran said, "we believe our national advertising, menu development, and strong execution from the operations team worked together to drive our third consecutive quarter of positive traffic, sales and profit."

For full year, net income increased 21 percent to $103.08 million. Earnings per share totaled $4.40 per share, and adjusted earnings per share were $4.34. Revenues increased 6 percent to $2.58 billion. Analysts expected earnings of $4.43 per share on revenues of $2.56 billion.

The company expects earnings per share in the first quarter of 2013 to range between $1.00 and $1.05. Results for the first quarter of 2012 included the benefit of a litigation settlement and an actuarial adjustment to workers compensation. Wall Street looks for earnings of $1.17 per share.

Looking ahead to fiscal 2013, the company expects earnings per share of $4.50 to $4.70. Revenue is estimated to be in the range of $2.6 billion to $2.65 billion, reflecting the expected opening of 12 new Cracker Barrel stores and projected increases in comparable store restaurant and retail sales of 2 to 3 percent. Analysts expect full-year earnings of $4.70 per share, on revenues of $2.64 billion.

CBRL, which closed at $63.62 on Tuesday, is adding 6.9 percent in pre-market trading at $68.00.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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