| April 24
April 24 Cheesecake Factory Inc rang up
a better-than-expected first-quarter profit as more diners
visited its restaurants and the company held costs in check,
sending its shares up 7 percent in after-hours trading.
The upbeat results from chain, known for its ample portions
and wide array of cheesecakes, come at a time when eateries are
fighting to attract frugal diners in a weak economy.
"Restaurant cost of sales was favorable, with the key
drivers being lower seafood and fish costs as well as better
food efficiencies," Chief Financial Officer Doug Benn said on a
conference call with analysts on Wednesday.
Miller Tabak analyst Stephen Anderson said he expects the
company to continue to benefit from moderating commodity costs,
adding that food costs in the quarter were a bit lower than
McDonald's Corp said last week it was still looking
for the right recipe to boost sales, which are being pinched by
the weak global economy and stronger competition.
Darden Restaurants Inc, owner of the Olive Garden
and Red Lobster chains, said last month it would offer a better
selection of lower-priced fare to counter a fall in traffic.
. Quarterly sales at Brinker International Inc's
Chili's restaurants were also soft.
Cheesecake Factory reiterated that it would open eight to 10
company-owned restaurants this year.
The company said it expected a full-year profit of $2.12 to
$2.18 per share. Analysts on average expected earnings of $2.14
per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Current-quarter earnings would likely be between 55 and 57
cents per share, the company said. Analysts on average expect 59
Cheesecake Factory's net income rose to $25.3 million, or 47
cents per share, in the quarter ended April 2, from $20.7
million, or 37 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 6
percent to $463 million.
Analysts on average had expected earnings of 42 cents per
share on revenue of $455.6 million.
Shares of Calabasas Hills, California-based Cheesecake
Factory closed at $37.74 on the Nasdaq on Wednesday. They have
risen about 25 percent in the past year.