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Monro plans to meet expectations

Monro Muffler Brake Inc. on Thursday said it expects fourth-quarter and full-year earnings to be in line with previous expectations.
Monro expects sales in the fourth quarter of $107 million, with a comparable-store sales increased of 0.8 percent, adjusted for one less selling week during the quarter. The company expects diluted earnings per share of 14 cents to 16 cents.
For the full year, Monro expects sales of $440 million, with a comparable-store sales increase of 3.1 percent. The company expects diluted earnings per share for the year of $1.03 to $1.05, compared with 97 cents in 2007.
Analysts have forecasted full-year earnings per share of $1.02 on revenues of $440.92 million. The company is slated to report its results May 29.
“We are pleased that we are on track to meet our expectations for fiscal 2008 and are particularly gratified that our business has performed solidly despite the challenging economy,” Monro chairman and CEO Robert Gross said.
For the year ahead, Monro expects comparable-store sales growth of 2 to 4 percent and diluted earnings per share of $1.08 to $1.18. The company anticipates first quarter 2009 comparable-store sales growth of 3 to 5 percent.
“As we move forward in fiscal 2009, we expect that our low cost operating model and our somewhat nondiscretionary products and services will enable us to weather the expected difficult macro conditions as we continue to seek growth both organically and through value-priced acquisitions,” Gross said.
Shares of company stock (NasdaqNM: MNRO) were trading up 54 cents at $17.04 midday.

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