Bob Evans Beats Estimates

Earnings more than double for the third quarter.
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Restaurant operator

Bob Evans Farms

(BOBE)

said earnings more than doubled for the third quarter ended Jan. 27.

The Columbus, Ohio-based company earned $14 million, or 39 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $6.6 million, or 19 cents a share, a year ago. Adjusted for special items, earnings were $13.2 million, or 37 cents a share. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of $8.95 million, or 25 cents a share.

Third-quarter revenue rose 4.9% from a year ago to $399.5 million. Analysts were estimating revenue of $391.2 million.

At Bob Evans Restaurants, same-store sales for the third quarter decreased 0.4% from a year ago, with average menu prices up 2.4%. At Mimi's Cafe, same-store sales rose 0.4%, with average menu prices up 2.3%.

While sales in the restaurant business increased 4% from a year ago, the much smaller food products segment sales rose 9%.

Operating profit margin improved 250 basis points to 5.9%.

The company opened three new Bob Evans Restaurants and one new Mimi's Cafe during the third quarter, and plans to open about 20 Bob Evans and 11 Mimi's for the full fiscal year. The company closed nine underperforming restaurants during the quarter. The company expects the number of closings to be minimal, if any, in the fiscal fourth quarter and much lower in 2007 compared with fiscal 2006.

The company's shares dropped 34 cents to $28.03.

This story was created through a joint venture between TheStreet.com and IRIS.