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Earnings Preview: Brinker sees Q2 EPS 48c-50c, SSS at or below 2%-3% range

Brinker International (EAT) is scheduled to report Q2 before the market open on Tuesday, January 22, with a conference call scheduled for 10:00 am ET. Brinker owns, develops, operates and franchises the Chili's Grill & Bar and Maggiano's Little Italy restaurant brands... EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for EPS of 50c on revenue of $692.69M, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is 48c-51c on revenue of $688M-$696.6M... LAST QUARTER: Brinker reported Q1 EPS of 37c against estimates for 38c on revenue of $683.51M against estimates for $679.6M. During its Q1 earnings call, Brinker forecast Q2 EPS of 48c-50c and same-store sales at or below its prior forecast of 2%-3%. Brinker said new store openings would play a bigger role in 2013 and that its re-image plan was on schedule. Additionally, Brinker noted that it was facing the same significant headwinds as the rest of the industry and that it was "not immune" to the pressures the industry is facing. Brinker announced on November 8 that Wyman Roberts would become CEO and president, effective January 1... STREET RESEARCH: Morgan Stanley recently upgraded Brinker to Overweight from Equal Weight due to declining CapEx, margin execution, increased top line visibility, and valuation. During the quarter, the stock was also upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Sterne Agee and initiated with a Buy rating at Citigroup... PRICE ACTION: Over the last three months, Brinker shares have declined about 0.5%, but year-to-date, shares are up almost 9%.