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Brinker Quarter Piping Hot

It beats estimates handily.
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Updated from 8 a.m.

Brinker

(EAT) - Get Brinker International, Inc. Report

soared 12% after beating first-quarter earnings targets.

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The Dallas-based operator of the Chili's restaurant chain made $48 million, or 57 cents a share, for the quarter ended Sept. 27. That's up from the year-ago continuing operations profit of $38 million, or 43 cents a share. Excluding items, earnings rose to 54 cents from 42 cents a year earlier. Revenue rose to $1.04 billion from $976 million a year earlier.

Analysts were looking for a 46-cent profit on sales of $1.04 billion.

"While the underlying operating environment continues to have challenges related to consumer traffic, our restaurant and support teams have responded well to deliver continued improvement in cost of sales, effective cost management and new restaurant development as drivers of our overall improved quarterly performance," the company said.

Sales in restaurants open at least a year dropped 2.1% for the quarter and 1% for September.

Shares rose $4.77 to $44.32.