REAL ESTATE

Chili’s enters Toronto market

BY CSA STAFF

Dallas Brinker International announced the opening of the first Chili’s Grill & Bar location in the greater Toronto area, marking Brinker’s entry into the largest market in Canada.

The Toronto Chili’s, developed by Top Down Enterprises, is located in Vaughan. It is the first of a five-restaurant, five-year agreement that will expand the Brinker presence throughout Toronto.

Brinker now owns, operates and franchises 205 restaurants outside the United States, with locations in 28 countries and two territories. As part of the company’s goal to become the globally dominant casual-dining restaurant portfolio company, Brinker International plans to have 500 restaurants open outside the United States by 2014.

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Barnes & Noble 1Q better than expected

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK Barnes & Noble reported that total sales for the first quarter were $1.1 billion, a 4% decrease compared to the prior year. Barnes & Noble store sales decreased 3.5% to $989 million, with comparable-store sales decreasing 5.7% for the quarter, slightly better than guidance for a decrease of 6% to 9%. Barnes & Noble.com sales were $93 million for the quarter, a 7% decrease compared to the prior year.

The first quarter net loss from continuing operations was $2.1 million or 4 cents per share, compared to guidance of a loss per share of 10 cents to 20 cents.

For the second quarter, the company expects comparable-store sales at Barnes & Noble stores to decline 5% to 7%. Second quarter earnings per share is expected to be in a range of 5 cents to 15 cents, compared to 18 cents from continuing operations a year ago (excluding a physical inventory benefit).

Based on the company’s better than expected performance during the first quarter, the company is raising its full-year earnings per share guidance range to $1.10 to $1.40, from $0.95 to $1.25. For the full year, the company now expects comparable-store sales at Barnes & Noble stores to decline 3% to 5%, better than previous guidance for a comparable store sales decline of 4% to 6%.

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Sears Holdings returns to profit

BY CSA STAFF

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. Sears Holdings reported net income for the quarter of $26 million (21 cents per diluted share) as compared to a net loss of $56 million (43 cents loss per diluted share) in the first quarter of 2008.

For the quarter, total revenues decreased $1 billion to $10.1 billion for the 13 weeks ended May 2, as compared to total revenues of $11.1 billion for the 13 weeks ended May 3, 2008. The decrease includes a $208 million decline due to unfavorable foreign currency exchange rates and was primarily due to lower comparable-store sales.

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