Chuys exterior

Chuy's 4Q preview reveals rising sales

Chuy's Holdings Inc., the casual-dining Tex-Mex operator, previewed its fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday and said same-store sales rose 5.2 percent in the period.

The Austin, Texas-based Chuy’s, which went public last year, said its same-store sales were based on a 13-week period that ended Dec. 23. Excluding the benefit of 1.5 added days in 2012 because of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day closures in the prior-year period, Chuy’s same-store sales rose 3 percent, the company said.

"We’re pleased to cap off fiscal 2012 with solid sales growth driven by strong comparable restaurant sales and continued contribution from our new unit openings,” said Steve Hislop, Chuy’s president and chief executive, in a statement.

In guidance for 2013, the company said it anticipated same-store sales growth between 1 percent and 1.5 percent, and it plans to open eight to nine new restaurants. The company currently has 39 units.

“With a strong pipeline of new units planned for 2013,” Hislop said, “we are confident that we are in great shape to build upon our 2012 results as we enter the new year.”

The company said revenues for the fourth quarter, which it calculated on a Dec. 30 end and included 14 weeks, were about $46.7 million, an increase of 40.3 percent, compared $33.3 million in the same period last year. Revenues in the additional week in the quarter were $3.3 million. Full 2012 results will be released during the last two weeks of February.

Based upon the preliminary sales results, Chuy’s said it expected its fiscal-year 2012 profit to be between 59 cents and 61 cents a share.

In its 2013 guidance, Chuy’s said it anticipates fiscal year 2013 diluted net income per share will range from 66 cents to 69 cents.

Chuy’s owns and operates full-service restaurants in eight states.

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