* Quarterly profit of 50 cents a share meets Wall Street
* Chili's same-restaurant sales up 1 pct; Maggiano's up 0.6
* CEO says Brinker has won market share
* Shares down 4.1 percent
Jan 22 Chili's Grill & Bar parent Brinker
International Inc on Tuesday reported
slower-than-expected quarterly sales growth at established
restaurants as fewer diners came through its doors, sending its
shares down more than 4 percent.
Total sales and franchise revenue increased 1.1 percent to
$689.8 million in the second quarter ended on Dec. 26, just
below the $693 million that analysts were expecting, according
to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Sales at restaurants open at least 18 months rose 1 percent
at Chili's and increased by 0.6 percent at Maggiano's in the
quarter. Analysts polled by Consensus Metrix were looking for a
1.5 percent rise at Chili's and a gain of 0.7 percent at
Still, this was the eighth straight quarter of sales gains
for the restaurant operator.
The period has been challenging for restaurants and
retailers as consumers showed more caution in how they spend,
but Brinker Chief Executive Officer Wyman Roberts said his
company had won market share.
Raymond James analyst Bryan Elliott, however, called the
sales performance "slightly disappointing" and said Brinker's
lead over its rivals had "narrowed" during the quarter.
Customers gravitated to meals that are more profitable for
Brinker even as they visited less often. At company-owned
Chili's restaurants, traffic fell 1.9 percent, and at
Maggiano's, it declined 2.4 percent during the quarter.
The chain's profit was helped by the higher menu pricing and
better prices for produce and chicken, partly offset by
unfavorable pork and beef prices and higher employee health
The Dallas-based company reported net income of $37.2
million, or 50 cents per share, for the quarter, compared with
$35.7 million, or 44 cents per share, a year earlier.
Excluding special items, Brinker still made 50 cents per
share, in line with Wall Street forecasts.
Shares of Brinker were down 4.1 percent at $32.01 in morning