Los Angeles Business Journal

Cheesecake Sales Fall Due to Sandy

By Bethany Firnhaber Originally published February 20, 2013 at 3:06 p.m., updated February 21, 2013 at 11:20 a.m.

Shares for Cheesecake Factory Inc. closed down 1 percent Wednesday after the casual dining chain reported that sales fell in the fourth quarter due to superstorm Sandy.

The Calabasas company on Wednesday reported net income of $22 million (40 cents a share), compared with $29.9 million (54 cents a share) in the same period a year earlier. Revenue fell about 3 percent to $465 million, with same-store sales at its Cheesecake Factory and Grand Lux Café restaurants up only 0.9 percent. Excluding the impact of Sandy on sales, the company estimates same-store-sales increased 1.5 percent.

Excluding one-time items, net income was 51 cents a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters on average expected the company to report adjusted net income of 52 cents a share on revenue of less than $469 million.

The company opened four new restaurants in the U.S. in the fourth quarter and two in the Middle East, for a total of 11 new restaurants for the company for the full year. The company will close three Grand Lux Café restaurants at the end of March.

Chief Executive David Overton said he expects to open the same number of new restaurants this year.

“We expect 2013 to be another year of growth, through the expansion of our restaurants, both domestically and internationally,” he said in a statement. “Strategically, we will continue to focus on food quality and service as key differentiators and business drivers, contributing to our expectation for higher comparable restaurant sales, higher earnings per share and increasing shareholder value.”

Shares closed down 22 cents, or 1 percent, to $33.10 on the Nasdaq.