May 3, 2012 / 10:21 PM / in 5 years

UPDATE 1-Einstein Noah to review strategic alternatives

* Says mulling sale or merger of co

* Q1 EPS $0.21 vs est $0.11

* Q1 rev up 3.6 pct to $104.9 mln

* Shares up more than 29 pct aftermarket

May 3 (Reuters) - Bagel maker Einstein Noah Restaurant Group will look at a possible merger or sale of itself, sending its shares up more than 29 percent in extended trade.

The company, whose brands include Einstein Brothers, Noah’s and Manhattan Bagel, said Piper Jaffray will act as its financial adviser.

Greenlight Capital, which is headed by well-known hedge fund trader David Einhorn, and its affiliates own about a 64 percent stake in the company.

The company on Thursday reported a first-quarter net income of $3.2 million, or 19 cents per share, compared to $1.2 million, or 7 cents per share.

Excluding items the company reported earnings of 21 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Analysts, on average, expected the company to post a profit of 11 cents a share.

Earnings rose on improved gross margins as the company cut cost cuts and introduced more options on its menu.

Einstein Noah shares rose to $18.09 on Thursday in after market trade.

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