LEBANON, TENN. (

TheStreet

) --

Cracker Barrel

(CBRL) - Get Report

appears to have cracked some kind of code -- or has perfected the art of managing expectations -- once again beating Wall Street's earnings estimates.

In the fourth-quarter, the restaurateur saw its profit grow by 8.5%, offsetting any weakness in sales. The news sent shares up 2% to $32.07 in pre-market trading.

During the quarter, the company earned $22.8 million, or 99 cents a share, compared with $21 million, or 93 cents, in the year-ago period.

Excluding impairment and store-closure charges, the company actually earned $1.06 a share, better than the 94 cents a share analysts had expected. Cracker Barrel has been consistently beating expectations for a year.

Revenue slipped 1% to $595.6 million, while same-store sales fell 7%.

Looking ahead, the company expects to earn between $2.85 and $3.10 a share during the year.

-- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York

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