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CEC Entertainment braces for rocky 3Q

CEC Entertainment braces for rocky 3Q

CEC Entertainment Inc., parent company of the 555-unit Chuck E. Cheese’s brand, said Thursday that its second-quarter profit rose 36 percent, but it warned of a choppy start to the third quarter.

The Irving, Texas-based company said profit for the second quarter rose to $6.5 million, or 34 cents per share, from $4.8 million, or 22 cents per share, last year. Revenue increased 3 percent, to $186.2 million from $181 million in the prior-year period.

Same-store sales for the second quarter ended July 3 edged up 0.3 percent, and were up 0.8 percent for the first half of the year. But the company warned that the comparable figures for the first four weeks of the third quarter were down an average 7.9 percent.

Executives speaking with analysts after earnings were released Thursday cited weak consumer confidence and competition from children-oriented movies for some of the slippage.

Company executives on the call cited same-store sale comparisons for June and July, compared to the prior year:

Given the early third-quarter figures, CEC said it was ratcheting back guidance for the year. The company’s projected fiscal year 2011 earnings per share are now expected to be in a range of $2.75 to $2.95, down from the earlier guidance of $3 to $3.10 issued in May, partially because of the same-store sales guidance being trimmed from up 2 percent to flat.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected].
Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

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