CBRL Profit Slips

Earnings beat estimates, though.
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Restaurant operator

CBRL Group

(CBRL) - Get Report

said earnings fell 10% from a year ago in the fiscal third quarter.

The Lebanon, Tenn.-based company earned $24 million, or 47 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $26.6 million, or 52 cents a share, a year ago. Third-quarter earnings include stock option expense of 3 cents a share and closure and impairment expense of 9 cents a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of $26.1 million, or 50 cents a share.

Third-quarter revenue rose 2.6% from a year-ago period to $644.2 million as against analysts' expectation of $659.4 million.

Third-quarter gross profit rose 4.3% from a year ago to $442.4 million and gross margin increased 111 basis points to 68.7%. Operating income for the quarter fell 9.4% to $38.8 million and operating margin dropped 79 basis points to 6.0%.

Comparable store restaurant sales for the third quarter were down 2.1% for

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store

, while comparable store retail sales at Cracker Barrel were down 5.4%. Comparable restaurant sales for

Logan's Roadhouse

were up 0.5%.

Shares rose $1.18 to $38.

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