During November 2012, the Company’s 2010 Credit Facility was amended to exclude the initial purchase price and conversion costs for the acquired restaurants from the Company’s debt covenant calculations. As a result, the Company expects to be compliant with its covenant requirements through the life of the facility.

Fiscal 2012 Guidance

Global same-store sales were positive 7.1% through the end of the third quarter. Accordingly, the Company is raising full year guidance on global same-store sales for fiscal 2012 to positive 6% to 6.5% from 5% to 6% to reflect the strong third quarter performance tempered by a difficult 5.8% comparison in the fourth quarter. Global same-store sales for fiscal 2011 were 3.1%.

Popeyes now expects its global new openings will be in the range of 140-150 restaurants, compared to previous guidance of 135-155 restaurants. Many of the fourth quarter units are scheduled to open in late December. The Company expects net unit growth of 65-85, compared to previous guidance of 60-90 net unit growth. Total net unit growth in 2011 was 65.

Adjusted earnings per diluted share are now expected to be in the range of $1.19-$1.21, an increase from our previous guidance of $1.17 to $1.19. This represents an approximate 21% increase over the $0.99 of adjusted earnings per diluted share reported in fiscal 2011. Our guidance includes approximately $0.01 for the 53 rd week in fiscal 2012.

The Company also reiterates its guidance on the following items:
  • General and administrative expenses are expected to be between $67 and $68 million for FY 2012, at approximately 3% of system-wide sales.
  • We expect our full year effective tax rate to be approximately 37%.
  • In 2012, the Company plans to repurchase approximately $15 million of its outstanding shares, continuing its efforts to steadily grow shareholder value.
  • Excluding our pending acquisition of 29 restaurant properties for $13.8 million, we expect capital expenditures for 2012 to be $10 to $12 million. Subject to the bankruptcy court’s ruling, we anticipate investing an additional $2 to $3 million in the fourth quarter for the conversion of units in Minnesota and California.

Long-Term Guidance

Consistent with previous guidance, over the course of the next five years, the Company believes that the execution of its Strategic Plan will deliver on an average annualized basis the following results: same-store sales growth of 1% to 3%; net unit growth of 4% to 6%; and earnings per diluted share growth of 13% to 15%.

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