Cracker Barrel Old Country Store ( CBRL ) has the recipe for happy investors. Earlier this week, the company delivered quarterly results above views and raised its dividend.
On Monday, the operator of home-style restaurants and retail stores reported fiscal Q3 earnings that grew 19% to $1.02 a share. Sales rose 5% to $640 million. The company said that comparable restaurant sales edged up 3.1%, while average checks grew 2.4%.
Cracker Barrel also raised its guidance on profit and revenue for its full-year fiscal 2013. The company has delivered higher earnings each year since 2007.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters see profit rising 5% to $4.86 a share for fiscal 2013. Growth is expected to pick up to 16% in fiscal 2014.
The company's strong results prompted it to raise its quarterly dividend by 50% to 75 cents a share. Its quarterly dividend has more than tripled since 2011. Cracker Barrel will dole out the dividend Aug. 5 to shareholders of record July 19.
At the new quarterly rate, Cracker Barrel pays $3 a share on an annual basis. This gives it a yield of about 3.1%, which is one of the highest among the 21 dividend-paying stocks in the highly ranked Retail-Restaurants group.
Despite recent market volatility, Cracker Barrel has been on a tear. The stock has climbed for six straight weeks and looked to be on pace for a seventh straight weekly price gain.
The stock cleared a cup with handle in February and has yet to test its 10-week moving average.
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