Brinker Pops on EPS Beat

Brinker International (NYSE:EAT) saw its shares vault first thing Wednesday morning. The casual dining chain reported adjusted earnings of 76 per share, compared to StreetAccount’s estimate of 52 cents for the fiscal second quarter. Revenue was $10.2 billion versus the $991.7 million expected by analysts.

Brinker reported an operating income of $40.7 million vs. $39.8 million a year ago. Operating income as a percentage of total revenues was 4.0% as compared to 4.3% a year ago. Restaurant operating margin was 11.6% of sales vs. 12.1% a year ago. The restaurant operator noted that commodity inflation for the quarter increased meaningfully year over year and will continue to be a headwind, although at a diminishing rate for the rest of the fiscal year.

Looking ahead, Brinker sees revenue of $4.05 billion to $4.15 billion in FY23 vs. the consensus mark of $4.04 billion.

CEO Kevin Hochman said "Our second-quarter performance represents a positive step forward for our new approach. Our focus on the Team Member and Guest experience, coupled with a more strategic pricing strategy, has allowed us to grow our top line and sequentially improve our margins. We will build on this solid foundation as we continue to implement our strategic initiatives and move the business forward."

Brinker is home of Chili's Grill & Bar, Maggiano's Little Italy and two virtual brands: It's Just Wings and Maggiano's Italian Classics.

EAT shares were up $1.55 or 3.9% in Wednesday’s first hour, to $41.01.