In a surprising turn of events, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store has defied analyst expectations by reporting an increase in sales for its fiscal second quarter. This growth was attributed to rising menu prices and improved traffic trends.

Financial Results

The restaurant chain reported a profit of $26.5 million, or $1.19 per share, for the quarter ending January 26th. This is slightly lower compared to the $30.5 million, or $1.37 per share, from the same period last year. Adjusted earnings per share, excluding one-time items, were recorded at $1.37, which surpassed the consensus estimate of analysts.

Sales Performance

During this quarter, sales rose to $935.4 million, up from $933.9 million in the previous year, exceeding analyst forecasts that predicted a decline to $917.8 million. Comparable sales also saw an increase of 1.2%, driven by nearly a 5% hike in menu prices. On the other hand, retail sales from the country stores attached to Cracker Barrel's restaurants experienced a 5% decrease compared to the previous year.

Factors Impacting Earnings

Higher labor costs and overhead expenses contributed to the drop in quarterly earnings, despite being partially offset by lower cost of goods.

Upgraded Outlook

With these strong results, Cracker Barrel has raised its full-year revenue outlook by $100 million, now expecting revenue to fall between $3.5 billion and $3.6 billion.

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