Cheesecake Factory's profit misses Street, shares down

Wed Feb 20, 2013 6:19pm EST

A sign for The Cheesecake Factory restaurant is pictured in Glendale, California April 19, 2011. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

A sign for The Cheesecake Factory restaurant is pictured in Glendale, California April 19, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Fred Prouser

(Reuters) - Restaurant chain The Cheesecake Factory Inc (CAKE.O) forecast a current-quarter profit largely below analysts' estimates after reporting weaker-than-expected results for the last quarter, sending its shares down more than 3 percent after the bell.

The company is likely to earn 40 to 43 cents per share in the first quarter, Chief Executive David Overton told analysts on a conference call. Wall Street was expecting 43 cents per share on average, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Overton said the recent storm in the New York-New Jersey region is likely to hurt its profit by 1 cent per share in the current quarter.

Cheesecake Factory's fourth-quarter profit was hurt by a fall in sales at its established Grand Lux Cafe.

The company recorded a pre-tax charge of $9.5 million in the quarter related to the closure of three Grand Lux Cafe restaurants and a write-down in the value of one of its namesake restaurants.

Cheesecake Factory is known for its ample portions and wide array of cheesecakes - many of which weigh in at around 1,000 calories per slice.

Sales at 'The Cheesecake Factory' restaurants open at least a year were up 1.3 percent and those at its smaller chain, Grand Lux Cafe, were down 3.2 percent.

Sales were affected by super storm Sandy, the casual dining chain said.

Net income fell to 22.1 million, or 40 cents per share, in the fourth quarter from $29.9 million, or 54 cents per share, a year earlier.

On an adjusted basis, the company earned 51 cents per share.

Revenue fell 2.7 percent to $464.7 million.

Analysts on average had expected a profit of 52 cents per share on revenue of $468.5 million.

Shares of Calabasas Hills, California-based Cheesecake Factory fell 2.5 percent to $32.50 in after-market trading on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Aditi Shrivastava in Bangalore and Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles; Editing by Sreejiraj Eluvangal)

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