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The Board considers the company's stock to be undervalued and an excellent long-term investment. Management stated that the company has the financial resources available to fund this program and its Fiscal Year 2002 planned new restaurant growth program, which calls for the opening of 20 units. The company anticipates that it will fund its expansion capital needs with Cash Flow from Operations and the use of sale/leaseback financing. By the end of the Fiscal Year, the Company will have completed 25 sale/leaseback transactions, all executed at favorable lease terms. This sale/leaseback program, coupled with lowered debt ratios, a strong balance sheet and healthy cash flow, all strongly position the company to continue to enhance shareholder value.
The Company projects that it is currently on track for Fiscal Year 2001 to meet or exceed the advisory given earlier in the year of $.75 as opposed to a $.63 diluted EPS in the prior Fiscal Year. Management estimates that Fiscal Year 2002 will yield an EPS range of $.83 to $.86.
On August 15, 2001, there were 387 Steak n Shake restaurants, including 56 franchised operating in 17 states. Recent successful openings have included restaurants in Miami, Florida, St. Clairsville, Ohio and two restaurants in the Cleveland, Ohio market. In Fiscal Year 2002, four of the 20 new restaurants will be developed in the Dallas, Texas market. The first of these restaurants will open in the First Fiscal Quarter, and will commence an aggressive multiple unit development plan that will bring the Steak n Shake concept to Texas.