Cracker Barrel Earnings Beat Expectations, But Sales Miss

By Tonya GarciaMarketsMarketWatch Pulse

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc. reported fiscal third-quarter net income of $46.9 million, or $1.95 per share, down from $49.2 million, or $2.04 per share, for the same period last year. Revenue for the quarter was $700.4 million, up from $700.1 million. The FactSet consensus was for EPS of $1.85 and sales of $713.0 million. Same-restaurant sales fell 0.4%. A 2.1% decline in traffic was partially offset by a 1.7% increase in the average check. The company's board increased the quarterly dividend by 4.3% to $1.20 per share, and declared a special dividend of $3.50. Cracker Barrel expects fourth-quarter EPS between $2.10 and $2.20. The FactSet consensus is $2.19. The company raised its full-year EPS guidance to between $8.25 and $8.35 from between $8.10 to $8.25, and now expects revenue of about $2.95 billion, reflecting six new Cracker Barrel stores and three new Holler & Dash Biscuit House locations. Same-restaurant sales are expected to be flat to up 0.5%, with comparable same-store retail sales down 3.5% due to cautious expectations for the fourth quarter. The FactSet full-year EPS consensus is $8.23 on sales of $2.96 billion. Cracker Barrel shares are up 1.3% in Tuesday premarket trading, but down 3.3% for the year so far. The S&P 500 index is up 7% for 2017 to date.

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