U.S. restaurants reported mixed results on Thursday, when Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc crushed Wall Street's quarterly profit view and the Cheesecake Factory Inc missed analysts' revenue target.
A handful of restaurant companies have reported blockbuster growth despite stubbornly high U.S. unemployment and a fitful economic recovery.
Chipotle, the Denver-based burrito chain, said profit rose more than 30 percent to $1.46 per share, fueled by new restaurants and more customer visits.
Shares in Chipotle rose nearly 4 after its profit beat Wall Street's estimate by 7 cents per share.
Chipotle raised its forecast for 2010 sales at established restaurants, predicting a mid-to-high single-digit percentage gain, up from its prior call for a mid-single-digit gain.
During the June quarter, traffic gains fueled an 8.7 percent increase in sales at Chipotle restaurants open at least 13 months. Executives said they were cautious about the U.S. economy, but said trends were holding up so far this month.
Chipotle shares rose to $138.95 in after-hours trading before rolling back to $138.13 from a close of $133.16.
Trends have generally improved for U.S. restaurants, which slashed costs when the U.S. recession forced diners to rediscover their stoves in a bid to save money.
CHEESECAKE AND MORE
The Cheesecake Factory's adjusted second-quarter profit of 39 cents per share topped Wall Street's target by a penny. But revenue for the quarter fell short of expectations at $418.9 million compared with $407.9 million a year ago. Analysts, on average, had expected revenue of $419.63 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. [ID:nASA00JUA]
The operator of the Cheesecake Factory and Grand Lux Cafe chains raised its 2010 outlook to earnings of $1.32 to $1.38 a share, based on same-restaurant sales growth of 1 percent to 1.5 percent. It had previously forecast 2010 earnings of $1.28 to $1.34 a share based on same-restaurant sales that are flat to up 1 percent.
The new 2010 outlook is roughly in line with analysts' average estimate for 2010 earnings of $1.37. Cheesecake shares fell about 2 percent then rebounded to their close of $25.73.
Ruby Tuesday Inc reported a higher-than-expected fourth-quarter profit as same-store sales at company-owned restaurants turned positive for the first time in 2010.
The company said it earned $21.0 million, or 33 cents a share, compared with $14.5 million, or 28 cents a share, a year ago. Revenue fell 1 percent to $313.5 million. Analysts, on average, were expecting earnings of 28 cents per share on revenue of $314.4 million.
Its shares rose to $10.00 after closing up 8.64 percent at $9.93, after the company said an ongoing menu revamp would put a slight dent in operating margins for fiscal 2011.
Improved guest traffic and same-store sales results helped BJ's Restaurants Inc's quarterly profit to beat Wall Street estimates, with the company reporting second-quarter earnings of $6.3 million, or 23 cents per share, compared with $4.4 million, or 16 cents a share, a year ago.
Its shares fell to $23.77 in thin after-hours trading after closing at $24.70.
(Reporting by Lisa Baertlein, additional reporting by Carolina Madrid in Los Angeles and Renju Jose in Bangalore)