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Cracker Barrel Beats Q3 Views, Shares Surge

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Shares of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (NASDAQ: CBRL) jumped more than 4 percent in pre-market trading after the company reported stronger-than-expected results for the fiscal third quarter. The company also raised its quarterly dividend and declared a special dividend.

The Lebanon, Tennessee-based company reported quarterly net earnings of $35.3 million, or $1.47 per share, compared to $28.7 million, or $1.20 per share, in the year-ago period. Excluding non-recurring items, the company's adjusted earnings came in at $1.49 per share.

Its total revenue gained 6.3 percent year-over-year to $683.7 million. However, analysts were expecting earnings of $1.37 per share on revenue of $680 million.

The average estimate among 7 Estimize users was for earnings of $1.41 per share and revenue of $689.90 million.

Its comparable store restaurant sales climbed 5.2 percent for the quarter, while comparable store retail sales rose 4.5 percent. Comparable store traffic gained 1.8 percent in the quarter.

Its operating income margin widened to 8.1 percent of total revenue in the latest quarter, versus 7.0 percent in the year-ago quarter.

The company announced its plans to pay a special dividend of $3.00 per share, and raised its quarterly dividend to $1.10 per share from $1 per share.

Cracker Barrel President and Chief Executive Officer Sandra B. Cochran said, "We believe that our strong sales performance in the quarter is the result of general increases in consumer spending, our strong value positioning, and the continuing success of our marketing initiatives. Our margin improvement in the quarter reflects the continuing implementation of our cost savings initiatives and the leverage of higher sales."

For the full fiscal year, Cracker Barrel now projects adjusted earnings of $6.60 to $6.70 per share on revenue of $2.8 billion to $2.85 billion. Analysts had expected earnings of $6.54 per share on revenue of $2.84 billion.

Cracker Barrel shares surged 4.51 percent to $146.10 in pre-market trading.

 

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