CARPINTERIA Calif. CKE Restaurants Inc., parent of the Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s chains, reported on Wednesday a steep year-to-year drop in fourth-quarter profit to a just break-even level, on increased interest expense, higher operating costs and slowed sales. For the quarter ended Jan. 28, net income fell to $98,000, or nil per share, from year-earlier profit of $10.3 million, or 15 cents per share. Interest expense in the latest quarter rose to $15.6 million, from $3.9 million a year ...

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