California Pizza Kitchen Inc., (Nasdaq:CPKI) announced today that due to the tragic events of September 11, 2001 and the resulting softness in the economy, earnings per share for the third quarter ended September 30, 2001 will likely be in the range of $0.18 to $0.19 per share.
For the third quarter, same store restaurant sales prior to September 11th were approximately 3.5%. Due to the events on that day, over 50% of the company’s restaurants either did not open for business or closed early. Since September 11th, the company has seen a decline in same store sales, although there has been a recent gradual return toward normal levels.
Fred Hipp, President and CEO of California Pizza Kitchen stated, “While it is incredibly difficult to quantify the impact of these events beyond the third quarter, we believe that the strength of the California Pizza Kitchen brand as well as our position as an affordable, “everyday use” restaurant will protect our downside in uncertain times. We will be in a better position to comment on the fourth quarter and 2002 during our third quarter conference call scheduled for October 23, 2001.”
California Pizza Kitchen originally planned to open 14 new restaurants in 2001 and will exceed that number by at least two new restaurants. The company has opened 10 new restaurants to date with the remaining six to be opened in the fourth quarter. Its second West Palm Beach restaurant was scheduled to open the last week of September, but has been delayed by one week as a result of staffing issues related to earlier airport closures. In addition to this restaurant, the company will open new restaurants in Chandler, Arizona; Birmingham, Alabama and Columbus, Ohio in October and in Salt Lake City, Utah and Hollywood, California in November.
“The underlying fundamentals of our business remain solid and our strategies are sound. We remain committed to increasing our market share as well as long term shareholder value, particularly from these levels,” Hipp concluded.
This press release includes certain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Investors are cautioned that forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and, therefore, undue reliance should not be placed on them. Forward-looking statements can be affected by inaccurate assumptions or by known or unknown risks and uncertainties. Our actual results may differ materially from the expectations referred to herein. Among the key factors that may have a direct bearing on our operating results, performance and financial condition are the execution of our expansion strategy, the continued availability of qualified employees, the maintenance of reasonable food and supply costs and numerous other matters discussed in the company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. California Pizza Kitchen undertakes no obligation to update or alter its forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
California Pizza Kitchen, Inc., founded in 1985, is a leading casual dining chain in the premium pizza segment. The company’s full service restaurants feature hearth-baked pizzas, salads, soups and sandwiches. The chain operates, licenses or franchises 125 restaurants of which 93 are company-owned, and 32 operate under franchise or license agreements. The California Pizza Kitchen website is http://www.cpk.com.