Cracker Barrel Q4 Profit Falls 36%; Dividend Boosted; Outlook Below View (CBRL)

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Restaurant operator Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. ( CBRL ) on Tuesday said its fiscal fourth quarter profit fell 36% from last year and provided a lower-than-expected earnings outlook, sending its shares lower in premarket trading.

The Lebanon, TN-based company reported fiscal fourth quarter net income of $17.5 million, or 75 cents per share, compared with $27.4 million, or $1.14 perhare, in the year-ago period. Excluding one-time items, adjusted profit was $1 per share.

Revenue was flat from last year at $613 million.

On average, Wall Street analysts expected a smaller profit of 94 cents per share, albeit on higher revenue of $619.9 million.

Looking ahead, the company forecast 2012 earnings of $4.05 to $4.20 per share, which would miss analyst expectations of $4.25 per share for the year.

CBRL also boosted its quarterly dividend payout by 14% to 25 cents per share. The new dividend will be payable on Nov. 7 to shareholders of record as of Oct. 21. The company's board also approved a new $65 million share buyback plan.

Cracker Barrel shares fell $2, or -5%, in premarket trading Tuesday.

The Bottom Line
Shares of Cracker Barrel ( CBRL ) have a 2.51% dividend yield, based on last night's closing stock price of $39.86. The stock has technical support in the $36-$37 price area. If the shares can firm up, we see overhead resistance around the $42-$45 price levels.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. ( CBRL ) is not recommended at this time, holding a DARS™ Rating of 3.1 out of 5 stars.

Be sure to visit our complete recommended list of the Best Dividend Stocks , as well as a detailed explanation of our ratings system here .

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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