Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc posted a better-than-expected adjusted quarterly profit, helped by lower costs.
The restaurant operator, which has been beating Wall Street expectations for the past year, earned $22.8 million million, or 99 cents a share, compared with $21.0 million, or 93 cents a share, a year ago.
Excluding impairment and store closure charges, the company earned $1.06 a share, according to Reuters Estimates.
Revenue fell 1 percent to $595.6 million.
Analysts on average were looking for a profit of 94 cents a share, before items, on revenue of $597.9 million.
We improved our operating margin as a result of lower food cost inflation, effective management of our operating costs, and lower general and administrative expenses, Chief Executive Michael Woodhouse said in a statement.
General and administrative expenses fell 10 percent to $32.0 million in the fourth quarter.
Cracker Barrel forecast full-year income from continuing operations between $2.85 and $3.10 a share. It sees 2010 revenue up about 0.5 percent to 2.5 percent.
The Lebanon, Tennessee-based company said it may refinance or extend the maturities of a portion of its long-term debt during 2010.
Cracker Barrel shares closed at $32.09 Monday on Nasdaq. (Reporting by Vidya Lakshmi in Bangalore; Editing by Anne Pallivathuckal)