The Cheesecake Factory reports Q1 net earnings of US$20.7M, up 1% from year-ago period amid best guest traffic levels in more than a year; total revenues increase 4.1% to US$435.8M

CALABASAS HILLS, California , April 25, 2012 (press release) – The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated (NASDAQ: CAKE) today reported financial results for the first quarter of fiscal 2012, which ended on April 3, 2012.

“We had the best guest traffic levels in more than a year during the first quarter, as our culinary expertise and high service levels continue to attract guests”

Total revenues were $435.8 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2012 as compared to $418.8 million in the prior year first quarter. Net income and diluted net income per share were $20.7 million and $0.37, respectively.

Operating Results

Comparable restaurant sales at The Cheesecake Factory and Grand Lux Cafe increased 2.4% in the first quarter of fiscal 2012. By concept, comparable restaurant sales grew 2.6% at The Cheesecake Factory and 0.3% at Grand Lux Cafe.

“We had the best guest traffic levels in more than a year during the first quarter, as our culinary expertise and high service levels continue to attract guests,” said David Overton, Chairman and CEO.

“Our strategy is experienced-based, not offer driven, with a focus on menu innovation and relevance to deliver full-margin sales. In the first quarter, we generated higher restaurant-level margins relative to last year, contributing to earnings per share that exceeded our targeted range.

“With our restaurant manager retention near record highs and a talented team of operators, we are confident in our ability to continue to deliver a best-in-class guest experience,” concluded Overton.

Capital Allocation

During the first quarter of fiscal 2012, the Company repurchased 1,356,147 shares of its common stock at a cost of approximately $40.9 million. The Company continues to expect it will utilize approximately $100 million in free cash flow toward share repurchases in fiscal 2012.

Conference Call and Webcast

A conference call to review the Company’s results for the first quarter of fiscal 2012 will be held today at 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time. The conference call will be broadcast live over the Internet and a replay will be available shortly after the call and continue through May 25, 2012. 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 171 full-service, casual dining restaurants throughout the U.S., including 157 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. To learn more about the Company, visit www.thecheesecakefactory.com.

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