Cracker Barrel 4Q profit slips, but tops view

9:33 am | September 18, 2013

LEBANON, Tenn. — Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc. said Wednesday that its fiscal fourth-quarter net income dipped 1 percent from results a year ago that were helped by an extra week. The restaurant operator’s results still beat Wall Street’s expectations.

For the period ended Aug. 2, Cracker Barrel earned $34.3 million, or $1.43 per share. That compares with $34.7 million, or $1.47 per share, a year earlier.

Cracker Barrel said that the prior-year period included a benefit of 27 cents per share for the extra week.

Analysts, on average, expected earnings of $1.36 per share for the latest quarter, according to FactSet.

Revenue declined 4 percent to $674.1 million from $700 million, but still topped Wall Street’s estimate of $669.9 million.

Restaurant sales at locations open at least a year rose 2.6 percent, while retail sales at those locations rose 1.1 percent. Traffic at restaurants open at least a year edged up 0.6 percent.

Sales at restaurants open at least a year is a key indicator of a retailer’s health because it excludes results from locations recently opened or closed.

The Lebanon, Tenn., company said that there was a 2 percent rise in the average check during the quarter, with menu prices up about 1.9 percent, on average.

Cracker Barrel’s full-year net income climbed to $117.3 million, or $4.90 per share, from $103.1 million, or $4.40 per share, in the previous year. Annual revenue rose 2 percent to $2.64 billion from $2.58 billion.

Cracker Barrel anticipates fiscal 2014 earnings of $5.60 to $5.80 per share on revenue in a range of $2.7 billion to $2.75 billion.

Analysts predict earnings of $5.70 per share on revenue of $2.74 billion.

Cracker Barrel has 624 company-owned restaurants in 42 states. Its shares finished at $107 on Tuesday.

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