Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. CBRL reported first-quarter fiscal 2021 preliminary results. The company stated that it continues to witness significant improvement in comparable store restaurant and retail sales trends. Following the preliminary results, the company’s shares gained 3.6% yesterday. Notably, the company’s shares have surged 36.2% in the past six months, compared with the industry’s rally of 21.2%.
The company’s preliminary first-quarter fiscal 2021 comparable store restaurant sales declined 16.4%, compared with a decrease of 39.2% and 41.7% in the fourth and third-quarter fiscal 2020, respectively. Moreover, preliminary comparable store retail sales for the fiscal first quarter fell 8.1%, compared with decline of 32.3% and 45.5% in the fourth and third-quarter fiscal 2020, respectively.
Management stated that it anticipates to report net income in the range of nearly $167 million to $172 million and adjusted EBITDA of between $50 million and $55 million.
Cracker Barrel president and CEO Sandra B. Cochran said “I'm pleased with our start to the fiscal year and with our continued sales recovery, as we saw significant improvements in comparable store restaurant and retail sales trends. These results reflect the strength of our brand, our everyday value, and the trust our guests have in us to deliver a safe experience and the hospitality for which we're known.”
It is also witnessing sales improvement at stores with open dining rooms. Further, demand for off-premise dining remains robust. Moreover, the company has transitioned to a new menu offering greater variety compared to the limited menu of its off-premise only stores in a bid to support the re-openings.
The company continues to focus on off-premise initiatives, such as curbside delivery, third-party delivery and family meal baskets. It also continues to invest in technology initiatives to enhance guests experience. To this end, the company plans to roll out Pay in App that allows contactless payments via mobile devices. It is also initiating the launch of a digital store that improves customer experience for ordering food. Notably, investments in this direction are likely to enhance its hospitality service and customer experience. Moreover, during the fourth-quarter fiscal 2020 conference call, the company announced that it will be testing two new off-premise formats — Grab-and-Go and a dedicated catering kitchen.
Cracker Barrel currently has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).
Some better-ranked stocks in the same space include Brinker International, Inc. EAT Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc. FRGI and Chuy's Holdings, Inc. CHUY. Brinker sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), while Fiesta Restaurant and Chuy's Holdings carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Brinker has a three-five-year earnings per share growth rate of 33.6%.
Fiesta Restaurant’s 2021 earnings are expected to soar 260.7%.
Chuy's Holdings has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 87.3%, on average.
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