Restaurant chain

O'Charley's

( CHUX) posted a 31% drop in first-quarter profit, but shares soared in afternoon trading.

Investors awarded O'Charley's better-than-expected earnings, sending shares up 27% to $8.59.

During the quarter, earnings fell to $6.9 million, or 34 cents a share, as consumers opted to save money by eating home. That compares with a profit of $10 million, or 46 cents a share, a year earlier.

Still, results in the quarter far surpassed analysts expectations of a loss of a penny a share.

In an effort to entice consumers, O'Charley's has been trimming prices and introducing new value-meals.

Revenue dropped 2% to $291.7 million from $297.5 million, as same-store sales declined 2.9%.

By brand, Ninety Nine Restaurants same-store sales fell 4.5%, while Stoney River Legendary Steaks comps slipped 17.2%.

Last week

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also surpassed Wall Street's forecast, earning $14.3 million, or 20 cents a share, compared with $12.9 million, or 17 cents a share, a year earlier.

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