Third Quarter EPS Increased 40.0% to $.35, Above Previously Forecasted Range of $.29 - $.33 Third Quarter Comparable Store Sales Increase 5.4% Fourth Quarter Fiscal 2011 Estimated EPS Range of $.22 to $.26 versus $.19 Last Year Increase Estimated Fiscal 2011 EPS Range to $1.41 to $1.45 from $1.33 to $1.37 ROCHESTER, N.Y., Jan. 25, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Monro Muffler Brake, Inc. (Nasdaq:MNRO), a leading provider of automotive undercar repair and tire services, today announced record financial results for its third quarter ended December 25, 2010. Due to the Company's three-for-two stock split which was effective as of December 23, 2010, per share data for all periods is presented on a split adjusted basis. Third Quarter Results Sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2011 increased 8.4% to a record $165.5 million compared to $152.7 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2010. Sales growth was driven by strong in-store sales execution, as well as recent acquisitions. Comparable store sales increased 5.4% on top of a 7.2% increase last year. Comparable store sales increased approximately 8% for tires, 7% for shocks, 6% for maintenance services and 2% for brakes, with exhaust flat and alignments down slightly as compared to the third quarter last year. Gross margin increased to 39.1% in the third quarter from 38.3% in the prior year quarter as a result of the implementation of price increases, the leveraging of distribution and occupancy costs against higher sales, increased vendor rebates and improved labor productivity. Total operating expenses were $46.1 million, or 27.8% of sales, compared with $44.3 million, or 29.0% of sales, for the same period of the prior year. The reduction in operating expenses as a percent of sales is largely due to leveraging of these costs against the significant increase in sales, combined with the impact of cost control on discretionary expenses.