UPDATE 1-Brinker's results hit by weak sales at Chili's Grill chain

Wednesday, 23 Oct 2013 | 8:48 AM ET

* First-quarter earnings/share $0.43 vs est $0.45

* Revenue flat at $683.9 mln vs est $685.9 mln

* Chili's same restaurant sales fall more than expected

Oct 23 (Reuters) - Brinker International Inc reported first-quarter results that missed analysts' estimates, hurt by a decline in same-store sales at its Chili's Grill & Bar chain.

U.S. casual dining chains, including Chili's, have been hit as customers become more frugal, and chains such as Chipotle Mexican Grill and Panera Bread Co offer more affordable menus.

Darden Restaurants Inc, owner of the Olive Garden and Red Lobster chains, reported dismal results for the latest quarter, while Ruby Tuesday Inc posted a larger-than-expected loss and a steep decline in same-restaurant sales.

Sales at Brinker-owned Chili's restaurants open for at least 18 months fell 1.6 percent in the quarter ended Sept. 25, more than the 0.7 percent decline analysts had expected, according to Consensus Metrix.

Same-restaurant sales at its Maggiano's Little Italy chain rose 0.6 percent, in line with analysts' estimates.

Brinker's net income rose to $29.2 million, or 42 cents per share, in the quarter, from $27.9 million, or 36 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, it earned 43 cents per share, falling short of the average analyst estimate of 45 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Total revenue was flat at $683.9 million, but also fell short of analysts' estimates of $685.9 million.

Dallas-based Brinker's shares had closed at $42.19 on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday.

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