Operating Income

On a GAAP basis, operating income was $57.2 million, or 8.1% of total revenue, in the second quarter of fiscal 2013 compared with $47.3 million, or 7.0% of total revenue, in the second quarter of the prior year. Adjusted for proxy contest and severance expenses, adjusted operating income was $58.9 million, or 8.4% of total revenue, in the second quarter of fiscal 2013, compared with adjusted operating income of $50.6 million, or 7.5% of total revenue, in the prior year quarter. Lower retail cost of goods, restaurant hourly labor expense, and general and administrative expense as a percent of total revenue contributed to most of this operating income margin improvement.

Diluted Earnings Per Share

On a GAAP basis, earnings per diluted share in the second quarter of fiscal 2013 were $1.47, compared with $1.10 in the prior year quarter. During the quarter, Congress retroactively reinstated the WOTC effective to January 1, 2012, which reduced the effective income tax rate in the quarter to 25.0% compared with 29.5% in the prior year quarter, and contributed $0.19 per diluted share to second quarter earnings. Adjusted for proxy contest and severance expenses and the prior-year WOTC benefit of $0.09 per diluted share, adjusted earnings per diluted share were $1.43, an increase of 19.2% over adjusted earnings per diluted share in the prior year quarter.

“This is the first quarter in more than ten years with positive comparable store traffic against a prior-year quarter with positive comparable store traffic,” said Sandra B. Cochran, Cracker Barrel’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “This was also the fifth consecutive quarter of comparable store traffic and sales growth, and of outperforming the Knapp-Track casual dining index. This quarter’s financial results exceeded our expectations and reflect the continued success of our marketing, menu, and operational initiatives. While we remain confident of our ability to execute our strategic plan, we also remain cautious about general economic conditions and consumer spending.”

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