Worldwide Restaurant Concepts Inc. said Thursday that it is postponing the release of its third-quarter financial statement to evaluate its lease accounting practices. The company's earnings release and investor conference call were originally scheduled for Thursday and Friday, respectively.

The action by the Sherman Oaks-based operator and franchiser of Sizzler, KFC and Pat & Oscar's restaurants is similar to that taken by a number of retailers and restaurant operators. They come in the wake of comments by Donald T. Nicolaisen, chief accountant of the Securities and Exchange Commission, in a Feb. 7 letter to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants expressing concern about how companies are accounting for discounted rents, the amortization of rent payments and lessee-funded operating lease incentives.

On Monday, 99 Cents Only Stores Inc. delayed its fourth-quarter earnings release to give the company time to look at its lease accounting procedures. California Pizza Kitchen Inc. also said it was assessing the letter's impact on its lease accounting and would restate earnings if needed.

Shares of Worldwide Restaurant Concepts were down 3.6 percent to $4.79 in early afternoon trading.

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