CKE Restaurants Inc. on Tuesday reported a quarterly profit that exceeded Wall Street estimates as lower labor and workers' compensation costs helped boost margins at its Carl's Jr. and Hardee's restaurants, sending shares up 5%.
Net income for the fiscal second quarter ended Aug. 15 was $8.4 million, or 13 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $12.7 million, or 22 cents, a year earlier. Revenue grew 2% to $359.8 million.
Excluding an $11-million charge for buying stock options from its former chairman, Carpinteria-based CKE earned 28 cents a share.
On that basis, Wall Street analysts had expected the company to report earnings of 19 cents to 21 cents a share, according to Reuters Estimates.
Same-store sales, a key retail measure, rose 1% at Carl's Jr. but were flat at Hardee's.
The results "were very good given the struggles in the same-store sales," said JMP Securities analyst Dean Haskell. "They kept costs under control, and they reported a good quarter because of good operating margins."