Cracker Barrel Old Country Store (
) offers customers country-style meals at affordable prices. For
shareholders, it dishes out steady growth and a juicy dividend
The Lebanon, Tenn.-based company runs about 624 restaurants in
42 states. Each restaurant has a gift shop where patrons can pick
up toys, clothing and decorative items.
Cracker Barrel has posted higher earnings in the past six
years. Growth has ranged from 4% to 25%. Over this period, profit
has nearly doubled. Cracker Barrel has a five-year Earnings
Stability Factor of 5, signaling a very steady stream of
The company will report July-ended fiscal Q4 earnings Sept.
18. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters see profit slipping 7% to
$1.35 a share, but that's perhaps due to a tough comparison.
Profit for fiscal Q4 2012 jumped sharply from a year ago.
Earnings in fiscal 2011 were hurt by a number of charges.
Besides delivering long-term growth, Cracker Barrel has handed
out higher dividends for investors. In June, the company hiked
its quarterly dividend by 50% to 75 cents a share. Its quarterly
dividend has tripled in just over a year.
On an annual basis, Cracker Barrel pays $3 a share. It has a
yield of 3%, which is among the highest in the Retail-Restaurants
group. Its yield is higher than that of the S&P 500, which
stands at just under 2.5%.
Cracker Barrel has delivered big gains lately. Shares are up
60% year to date, about triple that of the S&P 500.
On Thursday, the stock briefly cleared a 103.05 buy point from
an eight-week flat base and scored a record high in big volume.
That's a sign of strong buying on a day when the general market
indexes racked up modest losses.