Shares of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc. surged 2.9% in premarket trade Wednesday, after the family restaurant and retail chain announced a special dividend and beat profit expectations, offsetting a sales miss. The company will pay a special dividend of $3.25 a share on July 29 to shareholders of record on July 15. The quarterly dividend was raised by 4.5% to $1.15 a share. Earnings for the quarter ended April 29 rose to $49.2 million, or $2.04 a share, from $35.3 million, or $1.47 a share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted earnings per share came to $1.82, above the FactSet consensus of $1.80. Revenue rose 2% to $700.1 million, but missed the FactSet consensus of $705.7 million. Comparable-store restaurant sales increased 2.3%, below expectations of 2.8% growth, while the same-store retail sales increase of 2.2% missed expectations of 2.3%. For the full fiscal year, the company raised its EPS outlook to $7.45 to $7.55 from $7.40 to $7.50. Revenue is expected to be $2.90 billion to $2.95 billion. The FactSet consensus is for fiscal 2016 EPS of $7.53 and revenue of $2.92 billion. The stock has soared 19% year to date through Tuesday, while the S&P 500 has gained 2.6%.
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