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Cheesecake Factory says weather hits profit, shares fall

LOS ANGELES, April 23 (Reuters) - Cheesecake Factory Inc on Wednesday reported quarterly profit that fell from a year ago, due to severe winter weather, a holiday shift and costs associated with the pending settlement of a legal claim.

Shares of the chain, known for its ample portions and wide array of cheesecake, fell 2.5 percent to $45.65 in after-market trading on Wednesday.

Cheesecake Factory's first-quarter net income was $22.5 million, or 43 cents per share, versus $25.3 million or 47 cents per share a year earlier.

Revenue rose to $481.4 million from $463.0 million a year earlier.

Sales at restaurants open at least 18 months grew 1.2 percent at the Cheesecake Factory and fell 2.9 percent at Grand Lux Cafe, its smaller chain.

Analysts polled by Consensus Metrix expected a 0.5 percent rise in sales at Cheesecake Factory restaurants and a 0.8 percent decline for Grand Lux Cafe.

The company said established namesake restaurants benefited from holiday gift card redemptions and strong results from California, Florida and Texas.

(Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles; editing by Matthew Lewis)