DETROIT (Reuters) - Brinker International Inc
reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit and
forecast full-year results that could fall short of analyst
estimates, hurt by declining sales at its Chili's Grill & Bar
The bar and grill segment where Chili's operates -- and is
working to revive its appeal -- is crowded and fiercely
competitive. Brinker's rivals include Ruby Tuesday Inc,
DineEquity Inc's Applebee's and newer entrant Buffalo
Wild Wings Inc.
Brinker said Thursday that overall sales at restaurants
open at least 18 months fell 3.4 percent. In June, it sold its
On the Border Mexican Grill business to a unit of private
equity firm Golden Gate Capital.
Chili's, which accounts for just over 85 percent of
Brinker's sales, saw same-restaurant sales fall 4.1 percent.
Analysts had predicted declines ranging from 2 to 4 percent.
Net income rose to $63.6 million, or 62 cents per share,
for the fourth quarter ended June 30, compared with $42.1
million, or 41 cents, a year earlier.
Excluding discontinued operations, the company earned 44
cents a share, two cents below what analysts polled by Thomson
Reuters I/B/E/S had expected.
Sales rose slightly to $743.1 million, helped by an extra
week in the fiscal year, but below the $762.4 million analysts
had expected. Brinker's smaller Maggiano's Little Italy chain
saw same-store sales rise 1.3 percent.
The company forecast a 2011 profit of $1.30 to $1.42 per
share, compared with Wall Street's average call for $1.38.
The range suggests an increase of 10 percent to 20 percent
from 2010. Excluding the extra week in the 2010 fiscal year,
the forecast implies an increase of 20 percent to 30 percent.
It expects full-year same-store sales to be flat to down 2
percent with the first half being more challenging, while
overall revenue is expected to decline 2 percent to 4 percent
or flat to off 2 percent excluding the extra week.
Brinker finished with 2010 revenue of $2.86 billion, and
analysts expect 2011 revenue of $2.81 billion.
Shares in Brinker fell 1.2 percent in premarket trading
from Wednesday's closing price of $14.89 on the New York Stock
(Reporting by Ben Klayman and Lisa Baertlein, editing by Dave