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Cracker Barrel Suspends Buyback Program Due to Coronavirus

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Zacks Equity Research
·2 min read
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The coronavirus pandemic has rattled the global economy. Most companies around the world are taking measures to tackle this crisis. Companies are not just suspending productions but are also focusing on cost-cutting measures. 


Given that the Retail - Restaurants industry is currently grappling with the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. CBRL isn’t immune to this trend. 


Supposedly, the Lebanon-based company suspended its dividend and stock buyback in an effort to preserve cash and maintain ample liquidity amid a possible recession due to the coronavirus outbreak. Notably the company has been operating only through pick-up and delivery services with the dine-in facility being waived.


Although the company’s 2020 guidance does not include any coronavirus impact and there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 at any Cracker Barrel property, uncertainties emanating from the outbreak may affect results going forward. So far this year, shares of the company have plummeted 39.9% compared with the industry’s fall of 23.2%.


Coronavirus Hurts Overall Restaurant Industry 


The restaurant industry has been facing declining traffic for quite some time now. We believe, the coronavirus outbreak will further deflate traffic and sales in the coming quarters.


Many companies hinted at business disruptions in the United States, China and across Asia due to the rampant spread of the deadly virus. The companies also warned of soft sales trends on account of persistent restaurant closures.


Major restaurant companies like Starbucks Corporation SBUX, Yum China Holdings, Inc. YUMC and McDonald's Corporation MCD are also negatively impacted by this fatal virus.


Zacks Rank 


Cracker Barrel currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.


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