Famous Dave's Reports First Quarter Earnings of $0.11 Per Share

Includes Non-Cash Charges of Approximately $0.01 Per Share

MINNEAPOLIS, Apr 25, 2012 (GlobeNewswire via COMTEX) --Famous Dave's of America, Inc. (Nasdaq:DAVE) today announced revenue and net income of $37.5 million and $817,000, respectively, or $0.11 per diluted share, for the first quarter ended April 1, 2012. This compares to revenue and net income of $37.1 million and $1.2 million, respectively, or $0.14 per diluted share, for the comparable period in 2011.

Results for the first three months of 2012, included closure costs of $92,000 or approximately $0.01 per diluted share related to the sale in the first quarter of a company-owned location. Results for the first three months of 2011, included a $0.01 non-cash impairment charge for non-recoverable assets for a company-owned restaurant that will be relocated within its existing market in early 2013.

"While first quarter sales in general fell short of expectations, we were pleased with the increase in catering sales," said Christopher O'Donnell, president and chief executive of Famous Dave's, "and we are seeing pockets of economic strength nationwide, as evidenced by continued sales improvement from our franchise-operated restaurants."

Same store sales for company-owned restaurants open for 24 months or more decreased 1.6 percent during the quarter, compared to an increase of 3.0 percent for the prior year comparable period. Comparable sales included a weighted average price increase of approximately 3.1 percent, and an increase in catering sales offset by declines in dine-in guest traffic.

Franchise royalty revenue for the first quarter of 2012 totaled $4.4 million, compared to $4.0 million for the comparable period in 2011. The increase reflects the opening of six new franchise-operated restaurants since the first quarter of 2011, partially offset by the closure of four franchise-operated restaurants during this timeframe, and essentially flat comparable sales year over year.

Stock-based and Board of Directors Cash Compensation and Common Share Repurchases

Earnings results for the first quarter of 2012 included approximately $472,000 or $0.04 per diluted share, in compensation expense related to the company's stock-based incentive programs and board of directors' cash compensation, as compared to approximately $422,000 or $0.03 per diluted share, for the prior year comparable period. The increase is primarily due to the vesting and payout of a performance share program granted at a lower stock price three years ago being replaced by a new performance share program at the Company's current higher stock price.

The company repurchased approximately 148,000 shares of common stock during the fiscal 2012 first quarter at an average price of $10.97 per share, excluding commissions, for a total of approximately $1.6 million. The Company has now repurchased approximately 932,000 shares under its current 1.0 million share authorization at an average price of $9.83 per share, excluding commissions, for a total of approximately $9.2 million.

Marketing and Development

Development and marketing highlights during the quarter included a limited time offer of beer-battered cod, served as both an entree and an appetizer, as well as, All-You-Can-Eat beer-battered cod Fridays. Starting this week through mid-June, the company will begin featuring "Brisket burgers"--a "meat on meat" sensation with our smokehouse brisket stuffed into five different burger varieties accompanied by a house-made chipotle ketchup and in-house smoked cheese.

Famous Dave's opened a new franchise-operated restaurant in Salinas, California during the first quarter. The company also closed 2 franchise-operated restaurants in Manchester, New Hampshire and Benson Park, Nebraska and sold a company-owned restaurant in Tulsa, Oklahoma during the first quarter. Famous Dave's ended the quarter with 185 restaurants, including 53 company-owned restaurants and 132 franchise-operated restaurants, located in 35 states. Subsequent to quarter end, a franchise-operated restaurant opened in Redding, California.


"Our new fast casual format will allow us to focus on new avenues for growth," O'Donnell said. "And we've seen strong interest in our full-service and smaller footprint formats from both new and existing franchise partners. We remain on track to open up to 15 new locations in 2012, including 2 company locations this summer with one being a fast-casual location, and are excited about our first international franchise-operated location in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada in June."

Conference Call

The company will host a conference call tomorrow, April 26, 2012, at 10:00 a.m. Central Time to discuss its first quarter financial results. There will be a live webcast of the discussion through the Investor Relations section of Famous Dave's web site at www.famousdaves.com.

About Famous Dave's

Famous Dave's of America, Inc. develops, owns, operates and franchises barbeque restaurants. As of today, the company owns 53 locations and franchises 133 additional units in 35 states. Its menu features award-winning barbequed and grilled meats, an ample selection of salads, side items and sandwiches, and unique desserts.

The Famous Dave's of America, Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=7726

            APRIL 1, 2012 AND APRIL 3, 2011
    (in thousands, except share and per share data)

                                  Three Months Ended
                                  April 1,   April 3,

                                    2012       2011
                                 ---------  ---------
    Restaurant sales, net         $ 32,696   $ 32,741
    Franchise royalty revenue        4,378      4,029
    Franchise fee revenue              170         40

    Licensing and other revenue        249        280
                                 ---------  ---------

       Total revenue                37,493     37,090
                                 ---------  ---------

  Costs and expenses:
    Food and beverage costs         10,161      9,653
    Labor and benefits costs        10,871     10,437
    Operating expenses               8,926      9,074
    Depreciation and
     amortization                    1,454      1,375
    General and administrative
     expenses                        4,472      4,324
    Asset impairment and
     estimated lease
      termination and other
       closing costs                    92        171
    Pre-opening expenses                18        ---
    Net loss on disposal of
     property                            6          1
                                 ---------  ---------

       Total costs and expenses     36,000     35,035
                                 ---------  ---------

  Income from operations             1,493      2,055
                                 ---------  ---------

  Other expense:
    Interest expense                 (264)      (279)
    Interest income                      2          6

    Other income, net                    8          8
                                 ---------  ---------

       Total other expense           (254)      (265)
                                 ---------  ---------

  Income before income taxes         1,239      1,790

  Income tax expense                 (422)      (608)
                                 ---------  ---------

  Net income                         $ 817    $ 1,182
                                 =========  =========

  Basic net income per common
   share                            $ 0.11     $ 0.15
                                 =========  =========

  Diluted net income per common
   share                            $ 0.11     $ 0.14
                                 =========  =========

  Weighted average common
   shares outstanding basic      7,636,000  8,118,000
                                 =========  =========

  Weighted average common
   shares outstanding diluted    7,747,000  8,302,000
                                 =========  =========

                   OPERATING RESULTS

                                         Three Months
                                         April  April
                                          1,     3,

                                         2012    2011
                                        ------  -----
  Food and beverage costs (1)            31.1%  29.5%
  Labor and benefits (1)                 33.2%  31.9%
  Operating expenses (1)                 27.3%  27.7%
  Depreciation & amortization
   (restaurant level) (1)                 4.0%   3.8%
  Depreciation & amortization
   (corporate level) (2)                  0.4%   0.4%
  General and administrative (2)         11.9%  11.7%
  Asset impairment and estimated lease
    and other closing costs (1)           0.3%   0.5%
  Pre-opening expenses and net loss on
    disposal of equipment (1)             0.1%   ----

  Total costs and expenses (2)           96.0%  94.5%
  Income from operations (2)              4.0%   5.5%

  (1)As a percentage of restaurant sales, net
  (2) As a percentage of total revenue

                   (in thousands)

                              April 1,     1,

                                2012       2012
                             ---------  ---------
    Cash and cash
     equivalents               $ 1,727    $ 1,148
    Other current assets        10,240      8,809
    Property, equipment and
     improvements, net          59,053     60,972

    Other assets                 3,152      3,188
                             ---------  ---------

    Total assets              $ 74,172   $ 74,117
                             =========  =========

    Current liabilities         11,717     11,937
    Line of credit              12,000     11,000
    Other long-term
     obligations                17,051     17,086

    Shareholders' equity        33,404     34,094
                             ---------  ---------
    Total liabilities and
     shareholders' equity     $ 74,172   $ 74,117
                             =========  =========

                           (in thousands)

                                                     Three Months
                                                     April   April
                                                      1,      3,

                                                     2012    2011
                                                    ------  ------

  Cash flows provided by operating activities        $ 860   $ 525
  Cash flows provided (used) for investing
   activities                                          431   (447)

  Cash flows used for financing activities           (712)    (61)
                                                    ------  ------

    Net increase in cash and cash equivalents        $ 579    $ 17
                                                    ======  ======


                             Three Months Ended
                             April 1,   April 3,

                               2012       2011
                            ---------  ---------

  Restaurant sales (in
    Company-Owned            $ 32,696   $ 32,741
    Franchise-Operated       $ 90,428   $ 86,574

  Total number of
    Company-Owned                  53         52

    Franchise-Operated            132        130
                            ---------  ---------
       Total                      185        182

  Total weighted average
   weekly net sales (AWS):
    Company-Owned            $ 46,898   $ 48,433
    Franchise-Operated       $ 53,350   $ 52,738

  AWS 2005 and Post
    Company-Owned            $ 49,566   $ 53,045
    Franchise-Operated       $ 56,358   $ 55,832

  AWS Pre-2005:(1)
    Company-Owned            $ 45,041   $ 45,551
    Franchise-Operated       $ 47,204   $ 46,668

  Operating weeks:
    Company-Owned                 697        676
    Franchise-Operated          1,695      1,641

  Comparable net sales (24
    Company-Owned %            (1.6)%      3.00%
    Franchise-Operated %       (0.1)%      0.00%

  Total number of
   comparable restaurants:
    Company-Owned                  50         44
    Franchise-Operated            112        103


  (1)Provides further delineation of AWS for
   restaurants opened during the pre-fiscal
   2005, and restaurants opened during the
  2005, timeframes.

Statements in this press release that are not strictly historical, including but not limited to statements regarding the timing of our restaurant openings and the timing or success of our expansion plans, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, which may cause the company's actual results to differ materially from expected results. Although Famous Dave's of America, Inc. believes the expectations reflected in any forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, it can give no assurance that its expectation will be attained. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from Famous Dave's expectation include financial performance, restaurant industry conditions, execution of restaurant development and construction programs, franchisee performance, changes in local or national economic conditions, availability of financing, governmental approvals and other risks detailed from time to time in the company's SEC reports.

This news release was distributed by GlobeNewswire, www.globenewswire.com

SOURCE: Famous Dave's of America



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