AP News

Brinker may double EPS earlier than projected

DALLAS (AP) — Restaurant operator Brinker International said Wednesday that it still expects to double its earnings per share and may achieve it by fiscal 2014 — a year earlier than originally predicted.

The parent company of Chili's and Maggiano's restaurants also announced a new long-term target: to double its fiscal 2012 earnings per share by fiscal 2017. It earned $1.87 per share in its fiscal year that ended June 27.

CEO and President Wyman Roberts said in a statement that the goal was aggressive, but that Brinker is committed to achieving it by pushing for 10 percent to 15 percent annual growth in earnings per share during the period.

The company's stock rose $1.76, or 5.5 percent, to $33.80 in afternoon trading. Over the last year, the shares have gained about 25 percent.

For fiscal 2013, Brinker International Inc. anticipates earnings coming at the lower end of its forecast of $2.30 to $2.45 per share.

Analysts polled by FactSet expect earnings of $2.32 per share.

Brinker, which is based in Dallas, will report its third-quarter financial results on April 23. The company currently owns, runs or franchises 1,593 restaurants under the names Chili's Grill & Bar and Maggiano's Little Italy. It also holds a minority investment in Romano's Macaroni Grill.

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