Revenues for CPK jump 15.2%

LOS ANGELES California Pizza Kitchen Inc., the operator, licensor or franchisor of 212 casual-dining restaurants, reported on Monday that better-than-expected same-store sales in its first quarter helped to drive total revenues up 15.2 percent from a year earlier to $149.4 million, and will boost per-share profit above previous targets.

The Los Angeles-based company said it now expects first-quarter, per-share earnings to range between 19 cents and 20 cents, compared with previous expectations of between 17 cents per share and 19 cents per share. The per-share profit targets exclude stock-based compensation expense, which will total 2 cents in the latest quarter ended April 1. In the year-ago first quarter, California Pizza Kitchen earned 23 cents per share.

Same-store sales rose 4.7 percent for the fiscal 2006 quarter. While that result was higher than the company's same-store sales target of between 3 percent and 4 percent, it still was negatively affected by 0.4 percent from "unfavorable weather," California Pizza Kitchen said. About $300,000 in revenue was lost because of the weather, the company reported.

Full first-quarter financial results are expected to be released May 10.