CEC Entertainment's Profit Climbs

Fueled by new store development and an increase in comparable-store sales, CEC Entertainment (CEC) said second-quarter earnings rose, while it raised guidance for the second half of the year.

In a press release Wednesday, the company said earnings rose to $15.3 million, or 40 cents a share, from $14.8 million, or 36 cents a share, in the same period last year.

Sales rose to $165.4 million from $152.9 million last year to $165.4, although a Thomson First Call survey had expected revenue of $169.2 million.

The owner and operator of Chuck E. Cheese's restaurants said the addition of new stores and a 0.1% increase in same-store sales drove sales, offsetting about $2.1 million of higher cheese costs in the second quarter.

CEC boosted its guidance ranges for the second half of the year by two cents; the company now expects third-quarter EPS of 51 and 53 cents, and fourth-quarter EPS of 40 to 42 cents. Analysts were expecting third-quarter earnings of 50 cents a share and fourth-quarter earnings of 39 cents a share.

Shares of CEC were up nearly 2% in after-hours trading after closing the regular session at $30.85, up 10 cents.

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