Outback Steakhouse

Bloomin' Brands (BLMN - Get Report)  heated up Friday after the restaurant chain operator beat Wall Street's first-quarter earnings expectations same-store sales in the U.S. jumped.

Shares rose 6.7% to $20.95.

The Tampa, Florida-based company, which operates Outback Steakhouse, Bonefish Grill, and other chains, reported first-quarter earnings of $64.3 million, or 69 cents a share, with adjusted earnings coming to 75 cents a share. Analysts were looking for earnings of 73 cents a share. Revenue totaled $1.13 billion, meeting Wall Street's forecasts.

Bloomin' Brands reported earnings of $65 million, or 68 cents a share a year ago, on revenue of $1.12 billion.

The increase in revenue was primarily due to higher U.S. comparable restaurant sales and the net impact of restaurant openings and closures, the company said, which were partially offset by foreign currency translation.

Combined U.S. comparable restaurant sales increased 2.4%, while comparable sales increased 3.5% at U.S. Outback Steakhouse.

"The first quarter was a strong start to the year, and sets us up well to achieve our 2019 goals," CEO David Deno said in a statement. "Outback continues its strong sales momentum marking the ninth consecutive quarter of meaningful outperformance versus the industry. In addition, we continue to make progress against our growth platforms and this is showing up in increased sales and margin expansion across the portfolio. In the first quarter, operating margin grew on a comparable basis versus last year."