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Cheesecake Factory (CAKE) Q1 Earnings Beat; View Raised

The Cheesecake Factory Inc. CAKE posted mixed first-quarter 2016 results wherein earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate while revenues missed the same.

Earnings and Revenue Discussion

The company's adjusted earnings of 68 cents per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 60 cents by 11.8% and increased 21.4% year over year on the back of increased comps.


Sales of $553.7 million, on the other hand, missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $556.0 million by 4.1% but was up 6.9% on a year-over-year basis.

Inside the Headlines

Comps at Cheesecake Factory restaurants increased 1.7%, higher than the 1.1% growth registered last quarter, but lower than 4.2% posted in the year-ago quarter. Comps were hurt by a 1.5% decline in traffic, partly offset by menu price increase of 2.7% and positive mix of 1.5%.

Cost of sales ratio decreased 80 basis points (bps) year over year to 23.6%. This was primarily attributable to lower seafood and dairy costs plus softer-than-predicted poultry costs, slightly offset by higher costs of meat. Labor expense ratio was 33.5%, up 50 bps year over year due to high wage rates.

General and administrative expenses accounted for 6.4% of revenues in the first quarter flat with the prior-year quarter level. Pre-opening expenses were $2.3 million, up 53.3% year over year.

Second-Quarter Outlook

For the second quarter, Cheesecake Factory expects earnings per share between 69 cents and 72 cents. The Zacks Consensus Estimate is pegged at 76 cents.

With a solid start to 2016 and a moderate increase in prices, the company expects comps to remain flat or grow up to 1%.

In the second quarter, the company is poised to roll out several top line boosting initiatives such as an enhanced server training program, mobile payment app, CakePay and increase its focus on home and office delivery through the initiation of a pilot program of partnerships with third-party providers in select locations.

Guidance for 2016

Cheesecake Factory raised the earnings guidance for 2016.

The company expects earnings per share in the range of $2.61 to $2.70, up from the prior guidance of $2.56 to $2.68. Meanwhile, the company had reported earnings of $2.37 a year ago. The Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.65 per share lies within the company’s guided range. Comps are projected in the range of 1% to 2%. The guidance reflects second half comps in the range of 1.5% to 2.5%, taking second-quarter sales expectations and the impact of a possible shift in the timing of some expenses into consideration.

Wage inflation is forecasted at 5% for 2016, due to governmentally-regulated and higher wage environment. Food cost inflation is expected to remain stable on a year-over-year basis. Dairy costs are likely to rise, while seafood and poultry costs are expected to decline.

The company also expects an increase in operating margins.

Capital expenditures are estimated in the range of $100 million to $110.0 million for 2016 owing to eight planned openings in the year and a few scheduled for early 2017.

Cheesecake Factory currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Stocks to Consider

Better-ranked stocks in the same industry include Carrols Restaurant Group, Inc. TAST, Dave & Buster's Entertainment, Inc. PLAY and Darden Restaurant DRI. All these stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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CHEESECAKE FACT (CAKE): Free Stock Analysis Report
DARDEN RESTRNT (DRI): Free Stock Analysis Report
CARROLS RESTRNT (TAST): Free Stock Analysis Report
DAVE&BUSTRS ENT (PLAY): Free Stock Analysis Report
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