Feb 27 Chili's Grill & Bar parent Brinker
International Inc on Wednesday tempered its 2013 profit
forecast, saying customers will be pressured by the U.S. payroll
tax hike, more expensive gasoline and delayed federal tax refund
Earlier this week, there was a similar warning from rival
and Olive Garden parent Darden Restaurants Inc.
Numerous other restaurant chains and retailers
have blamed the same trio of pressures for a consumer spending
pull back this year.
Dallas-based Brinker said it now expects 2013 earnings per
share, before special items, to be at the lower end of its range
of $2.30 to $2.45.
Its new forecast was roughly in line with analysts' average
estimate for a 2013 profit of $2.32, according to Thomson
Reuters I/B/E/S, and shares jumped 5.5 percent to $33.79 in
Brinker also expects sales at established restaurants to
grow about 1 percent for the year.
Brinker said same-restaurant sales for its current fiscal
third quarter were running down 2.2 percent at Chili's as of
Feb. 25. Results at Maggiano's, its smaller chain, were flat.
Brinker will report its third-quarter results on April 23.