BJ's Restaurants reports Q4 net earnings of US$9.9M, up 42% from year-ago period, primarily due to favorable tax-rate adjustment; revenues up 29% to US$171.8M

HUNTINGTON BEACH, California , February 16, 2012 (press release) – BJ's Restaurants, Inc. (Nasdaq:BJRI - News) today reported financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year of 2011 that ended on Tuesday, January 3, 2012. The results for both the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended January 3, 2012 included one additional operating week as compared to the same periods of fiscal 2010.

Highlights for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011, compared to the same quarter last year, were as follows:

* Total revenues increased 29% to $171.8 million (14 weeks vs. 13 weeks)
* Comparable restaurant sales increased 5.1% (13 weeks vs. 13 weeks)
* Net income increased 42% to $9.9 million (14 weeks vs. 13 weeks)
* Diluted net income per share increased 42% to $0.34 (14 weeks vs. 13 weeks)
* Total restaurant operating weeks increased approximately 21% (14 weeks vs. 13 weeks)

Results for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010 included an after-tax benefit of approximately $0.7 million, or $0.02 per diluted share, primarily due to a favorable tax rate adjustment associated with disqualifying dispositions related to incentive stock options ("ISO"). Excluding this item from fiscal 2010's fourth quarter results, net income and diluted net income per share for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011 would have increased by 58% and 55%, respectively, compared to non-GAAP adjusted results for the same quarter last year. A reconciliation between GAAP and non-GAAP adjusted financial measures is included in the accompanying financial data.

Highlights for the fiscal year 2011, compared to fiscal year 2010, were as follows:

* Total revenues increased 21% to $620.9 million (53 weeks vs. 52 weeks)
* Comparable restaurant sales increased 6.6% (52 weeks vs. 52 weeks)
* Net income increased 36% to $31.6 million (53 weeks vs. 52 weeks)
* Diluted net income per share increased 32% to $1.08 (53 weeks vs. 52 weeks)
* Total restaurant operating weeks increased approximately 13% (53 weeks vs. 52 weeks)

Results for fiscal year 2011 include a pre-tax charge of approximately $2.0 million, or $0.05 per diluted share, related to the estimated costs to settle certain California employment practices lawsuits, partially offset by a pre-tax gain of approximately $0.6 million, or $0.01 per diluted share, pursuant to the settlement agreement with the Company's former broker-dealer related to the liquidation of its auction rate securities portfolio in December 2009. Under the terms of that settlement agreement, the Company is entitled to potential future recoveries of its loss on that portfolio based on the performance of the securities through December 2012. During fiscal year 2011, certain of those securities were redeemed at par resulting in additional cash recoveries for the Company. Excluding all of the aforementioned items for fiscal 2011, on a non-GAAP adjusted basis, net income and net income per diluted share for fiscal year 2011 were $32.6 million and $1.12, respectively.

"We were very pleased with BJ's strong financial results for both the fourth quarter and full year of fiscal 2011," commented Jerry Deitchle, Chairman and CEO. "Our 5.1% increase in comparable restaurant sales for the fourth quarter of 2011 was our eighth consecutive quarter of comparable sales increases. For the full fiscal year of 2011, BJ's achieved a 6.6% increase in comparable restaurant sales, successfully hurdling a strong 5.6% increase in comparable restaurant sales for fiscal 2010. Our restaurant operators continue to do an excellent job of simultaneously building sales, improving the overall quality of the BJ's dining experience for our guests and preserving our high quality four-wall restaurant operating margins."

Four new restaurants were opened during the fourth quarter of 2011 (Dublin, OH; Rancho Santa Margarita, CA; Fort Worth, TX; and Anaheim Hills, CA). As a result, the Company fully attained its stated expansion goal for fiscal 2011 by opening a total of 13 new restaurants and achieving a double-digit increase in total restaurant operating weeks during the year. "We were especially pleased that our new restaurant openings created almost 2,000 new jobs for America last year, and we expect to create at least that many during 2012," said Deitchle. As previously announced, the Company currently expects to open as many as 16 new restaurants during 2012, of which one will be a relocation of an existing, small-format "BJ's Pizza & Grill" restaurant to a new, large-format "BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse" location. One new restaurant opening is currently planned for the first quarter of 2012 (Clearwater, FL). As of this date, the Company expects to open as many as five new restaurants in the second quarter, five new restaurants (including the one planned relocation) in the third quarter and five new restaurants during the fourth quarter. "With only 115 restaurants open at the end of fiscal 2011, we believe that we have a significant opportunity to continue our national expansion in a careful, controlled manner and continue gaining market share in the estimated $100+ billion casual dining segment," commented Deitchle. Investors are reminded that the actual number and timing of new restaurant openings is subject to a number of factors outside of the Company's control including, but not limited to, weather conditions and factors under the control of landlords, contractors and regulatory/licensing authorities.

Investor Conference Call and Webcast

BJ's Restaurants, Inc. will conduct a conference call on its fourth quarter and fiscal year 2011 earnings release today, February 16, 2012, at 2:00 p.m. (Pacific Time). The Company will provide an Internet simulcast, as well as a replay of the conference call. To listen to the conference call, please visit the "Investors" page of the Company's website located at http://www.bjsrestaurants.com several minutes prior to the start of the call to register and download any necessary audio software. An archive of the presentation will be available for 30 days following the call.

BJ's Restaurants, Inc. currently owns and operates 115 casual dining restaurants under the BJ's Restaurant & Brewery(R), BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse(R), BJ's Pizza & Grill(R) and BJ's Grill(TM) brand names. BJ's restaurants offer an innovative and broad menu featuring award-winning, signature deep-dish pizza complemented with generously portioned salads, appetizers, sandwiches, soups, pastas, entrees and desserts. Quality, flavor, value, moderate prices and sincere service remain distinct attributes of the BJ's experience. The Company operates several microbreweries in addition to using qualified contract brewers to produce and distribute BJ's critically acclaimed proprietary handcrafted beers throughout the chain. The Company's restaurants are located in California (56), Texas (24), Arizona (6), Colorado (4), Oregon (2), Nevada (5), Florida (8), Ohio (3), Oklahoma (2), Kentucky (1), Indiana (1), Louisiana (1) and Washington (2). Visit BJ's Restaurants, Inc. on the Web at http://www.bjsrestaurants.com.

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