Cheesecake factory's fiscal Q4 net income up to US$21.9M, versus net loss of US$13,000 in prior year, as total revenues grew 4% to US$416.7M, comparable-restaurant sales at Cheesecake Factory and Grand Lux Cafe rose 0.9%

CALABASAS HILL, California , February 10, 2011 (press release) – The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated (NASDAQ:CAKE - News) today reported financial results for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010, which ended on December 28, 2010.

Total revenues were $416.7 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010 as compared to $400.6 million in the prior year fourth quarter. Net income and diluted net income per share were $21.9 million and $0.36, respectively.

Operating Results

“The fourth quarter marks our eighth consecutive quarter of improving comparable sales, again driven by increases in guest traffic. We delivered positive comparable sales in every quarter of 2010, highlighting our leadership in upscale casual dining and the popularity of our brands. We believe our differentiated concepts and ongoing focus on menu innovation and hospitality helped us gain market share consistently throughout the past year,” said David Overton, Chairman and CEO.

As previously reported, comparable restaurant sales at The Cheesecake Factory and Grand Lux Cafe increased 0.9% in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010 from the fourth quarter of the prior year. Comparable restaurant sales were adversely impacted primarily by inclement weather, as well as a holiday shift. Absent these factors, comparable restaurant sales increased 2.1% in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010 from the same period a year ago.

By concept, comparable restaurant sales increased 1.0% at The Cheesecake Factory and decreased 0.4% at Grand Lux Cafe in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010 from the fourth quarter of the previous year.

“We made significant progress toward our goal of returning operating margins to peak levels. By leveraging our comparable sales growth, as well as realizing and retaining savings from our cost management initiatives, we delivered our best operating margins in three years. As a result of our focused execution, we recorded an increase in earnings per share of greater than 30% in 2010.

“Our underlying business trends remain strong and we look forward to ongoing momentum in 2011. With accelerating high-quality unit growth and continued positive comparable sales expected for this year, we anticipate delivering pro forma earnings growth of about 15% and significant free cash flow, the majority of which we plan to give back to shareholders through share repurchases,” concluded Overton.

Development

The Company opened one new The Cheesecake Factory restaurant in Houston, Texas in the first quarter of fiscal 2011. The Company continues to expect it will open as many as six to nine new restaurants this year, representing a healthy level of unit growth with sites selected through a disciplined, returns-focused process.

Capital Allocation

The Company repurchased 35,143 shares of its common stock during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010 at a cost of approximately $934,000. For the full year, the Company repurchased 2.1 million shares of its common stock, returning $52.1 million to shareholders.

During the fourth quarter of 2010, the Company repaid the $40 million outstanding balance on its former credit facility and entered into a new, undrawn $200 million revolving credit facility with more favorable terms. The Company believes this increases its financial flexibility.

In fiscal 2011, the Company targets repurchasing at least $100 million of its common stock under share repurchase plans approved by its Board of Directors on February 9, 2011. The terms and effective dates of these plans are further described in a Form 8-K, which the Company filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission today.

Conference Call and Webcast

A conference call to review the Company’s results for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010 will be held today at 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time. The conference call will be broadcast live over the Internet. A replay will be available shortly after the call and continue through March 10, 2011. To listen to the conference call, please go to the Company’s website at www.thecheesecakefactory.com at least 15 minutes prior to the start of the call to register and download any necessary audio software. Click on the “Investors” link on the home page and select the conference call link at the top of the page.

About The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated

The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated created the upscale casual dining segment in 1978 with the introduction of its namesake concept. The Company operates 164 full-service, casual dining restaurants throughout the U.S., including 150 restaurants under The Cheesecake Factory® mark; 13 restaurants under the Grand Lux Cafe® mark; and one restaurant under the RockSugar Pan Asian Kitchen® mark. The Company also operates two bakery production facilities in Calabasas Hills, CA and Rocky Mount, NC that produce over 70 varieties of quality cheesecakes and other baked products. Learn more about the Company at www.thecheesecakefactory.com.

Industry Intelligence Editor’s Note: In an omitted table, the company reported Q4 2009 net loss of US$13,000.

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