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Shares of



were bitten in late trading Wednesday after the casual-restaurant chain posted a bigger-than-expected drop in third-quarter earnings and cut its full-year profit outlook.

The Overland Park, Kan.-based company earned $14.8 million, or 20 cents a share, for the quarter ended Sept. 24, down from $22.1 million, or 28 cents a share, a year earlier.

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Excluding charges related to impairments and legal costs, but including 4 cents in stock options expenses, earnings were 23 cents a share. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call anticipated earnings of 25 cents a share on this basis.

Revenue rose to $320.6 million from $305.3 million, while system-wide same-store sales declined 2.3%.

Applebee's also reported a 1.2% same-store sales drop for its October fiscal period. The company expects system-wide same-store sales will fall 1% to 3% for the remainder of the year.

Applebee's now sees earnings of $1.10 to $1.13 a share for the full year, excluding charges but including options costs. That's down from its July forecast for earnings of $1.12 to $1.22 a share.

Shares of Applebee's recently were down $1.92, or 7.7%, to $22.95 in after-hours trading.