Steak n Shake Profit Rises

A limited-time milkshake promotion stokes same-store sales.
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Steak n Shake

(SNS)

matched first-quarter estimates Wednesday but guided slightly down for the rest of 2005.

For its quarter ended Dec. 31, the Indianapolis-based restaurant chain earned $5.1 million, or 18 cents a share, up from the year-ago $4.6 million, or 17 cents a share. Revenue rose to $126 million from $115 million a year earlier. Sales in company-owned stores open a year or more rose 7.8% from a year ago.

Those figures were in line with the Thomson First Call analyst consensus estimate, which called for an 18-cent profit on sales of $122 million. But for full-year 2005, Steak n Shake said it expects to earn $1.08 to $1.11 a share, which is a shade below the $1.12 Wall Street analyst consensus. The company said it expects to post same-store sales growth of 2%-3% for the year.

"The Company's limited-time holiday milk shakes helped drive another strong quarter of positive same store sales," CEO Peter Dunn said. "While tomato, dairy and beef costs were higher than last year, we were able to leverage our labor costs as a result of strong same store sales and better restaurant-level execution."

On Wednesday, Steak n Shake shares rose 55 cents to $18.37.