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The Cheesecake Factory (NASDAQ: CAKE ) is going south of the border -- way south. On Wednesday, the restaurateur announced it has entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with Latin American restaurant operator Alsea, S.A.B. de C.V., by virtue of which Alsea will open and operate at least 12 Cheesecake Factory restaurants in Mexico and Chile over the next eight years. Alsea intends to open its first restaurant in Mexico early next year.
If all goes well, the agreement envisions Alsea expanding its Cheesecake franchises into Argentina, Brazil, Columbia, and Peru.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
Cheesecake Factory also reported fiscal Q4 and full-year 2012 earnings yesterday, with revenues down 2.7%, at $464.7 million, and profits tumbling 26%, to $0.40 per diluted share.
Cheesecake Factory opened lower today on the news, but has made up its early losses, and currently trades 1.8% above yesterday's close at $33.68.