The Company continues to expect new restaurant openings to be in the range of 135-155. Included in this total are 4 to 6 Company-operated restaurants that the Company expects to open in the fourth quarter of 2012. We expect net restaurant openings of 60-90 compared to prior guidance of 60-100, as we refine our expected closing range. In 2011, the Company opened 65 net new restaurants.
The Company expects to realize approximately $2 million associated with the transfer of two large groups of Popeyes restaurants. These fees will be reinvested to accelerate projects directly associated with our strategies intended to deliver shareholder value. These additional investments will result in total general and administrative expense for 2012 in the range of $67 to $68 million, which is approximately 3% of system-wide sales.
The Company now expects its effective tax rate will be approximately 37%, which is the lower end of the previous guidance of 37%-38%.
Adjusted earnings per diluted share are now expected to be in the range of $1.17-$1.19, an increase from our previous guidance of $1.13 to $1.16. This represents an approximate 18% increase over the $0.99 of adjusted earnings per diluted share reported in fiscal 2011. Our guidance includes approximately $0.01 for the 53 rd week in fiscal 2012.The Company also reiterates its guidance on the following items:
- In 2012, the Company plans to repurchase approximately $15.0 million of its outstanding shares, compared to the $22.3 million of shares repurchased in 2011.
- Capital expenditures for the year are expected to be $10 to $12 million.
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