UPDATE 1-Cheesecake Factory profit tops Street view
April 25 - Cheesecake Factory Inc reported quarterly profit that topped Wall Street's view, helped by share buybacks and improved operating profit, but sales fell short of analysts' expectations. Stock in the company, which is known for its array of cheesecakes and ample portions, settled down 0.2 percent to $30.95 in extended trading after initially falling more than 5 percent. KEY POINTS Q1 2012 Estimate* Q1 2011 Revenue $435.8 mln $439.7 mln $418.8 mln Net income $20.7 mln $20.5 mln EPS $0.37 $0.36 $0.34 Overall sales at restaurants open at least 18 months rose 2.4 percent in the first quarter. Same-restaurant sales rose 2.6 percent at the Cheesecake Factory and 0.3 percent at Grand Lux Cafe, its smaller chain. "We had the best guest traffic levels in more than a year during the first quarter," David Overton, Cheesecake Factory's chairman and chief executive, said in a statement. During the first quarter, Cheesecake Factory bought back almost 1.4 million shares of its common stock at a cost of about $40.9 million. OUTLOOK Executives at Cheesecake Factory forecast second-quarter earnings of 47 to 49 cents per share. Analysts, on average, were targeting earnings of 49 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. The company forecast 2012 food inflation of 2 to 2.5 percent. Cheesecake Factory raised prices last summer to help offset higher commodity costs. Note: * Average analyst estimate according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
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