Cracker Barrel's Key Metrics Decline to Close Out 2013

Cracker Barrel's comparable figures for last November and December are generally in the red.

Jan 13, 2014 at 7:39PM

Cracker Barrel (NASDAQ:CBRL) didn't quite finish 2013 with a bang. The company today reported its comparable traffic and sales figures for November and December -- the first two months of its fiscal Q2 2014. For the former month, comparable restaurant traffic slid by 0.4% against November of last year. The December fall was more pronounced, with the metric dropping by 4.7%.

The average restaurant check, however, saw advances in both months, rising by 2.9% in November and 2% in December. Also recording an increase was comparable restaurant sales for November, which grew by 2.5%. They fell the following month by 2.7%, however. Comparable retail sales dropped by 2.8% in both November and December. 

In spite of the mixed results, the company reaffirmed its existing Q2 earnings guidance of $1.50 to $1.60 per share.

In the press release unveiling the numbers, Cracker Barrel attributed the drops to unfavorable weather. It didn't mention whether a controversy over Duck Commander merchandise it sold in its outlets was a factor in the December figures. Late that month, the store hastily pulled the goods following critical comments that Duck Commander founder and President Phil Robertson made to the media about homosexuality. Cracker Barrel abruptly restocked the wares and made a public apology after receiving customer complaints about the move.

Robertson and his family are the stars of the popular TV reality show Duck Dynasty.


Fool contributor Eric Volkman has no position in Cracker Barrel. Nor does The Motley Fool. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

A Financial Plan on an Index Card

Keeping it simple.

Aug 7, 2015 at 11:26AM

Two years ago, University of Chicago professor Harold Pollack wrote his entire financial plan on an index card.

It blew up. People loved the idea. Financial advice is often intentionally complicated. Obscurity lets advisors charge higher fees. But the most important parts are painfully simple. Here's how Pollack put it:

The card came out of chat I had regarding what I view as the financial industry's basic dilemma: The best investment advice fits on an index card. A commenter asked for the actual index card. Although I was originally speaking in metaphor, I grabbed a pen and one of my daughter's note cards, scribbled this out in maybe three minutes, snapped a picture with my iPhone, and the rest was history.

More advisors and investors caught onto the idea and started writing their own financial plans on a single index card.

I love the exercise, because it makes you think about what's important and forces you to be succinct.

So, here's my index-card financial plan:


Everything else is details. 

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