Ruby Tuesday’s 1Q net income rises; key metric improves for restaurant chain

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Ruby Tuesday’s 1Q net income rises

MARYVILLE, Tenn. — Ruby Tuesday Inc. said its net income rose in its fiscal first quarter as revenue and a key metric improved for the restaurant chain.

Revenue at restaurants open at least a year rose 1.2 percent at company-owned restaurants. The figure is considered an important measurement of performance because it excludes locations that open or close during the year.

The restaurant chain posted net income of $12.4 million, or 19 cents per share, in the three months ending Aug. 31. That’s up from earnings of $6.1 million, or 11 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

Excluding accounting gains from franchise acquisitions, the company earned $10.7 million in the quarter, or 17 cents per share.

Revenue rose less than 1 percent to $302.6 million.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters anticipated the company would earn 16 cents per share for the quarter on revenue of $300.3 million. They typically exclude one-time items from their estimates.

CEO Sandy Beall noted the company did not run as many promotions in the quarter.

The company expects revenue at restaurants open at least a year to be flat to rise 2 percent for the year. The company expects to open one or two smaller restaurants in 2011, and close seven to nine, while converting five to seven restaurants to other dining concepts.

The company also expects franchisees to open between eight and 13 restaurants, with up to 10 abroad. Ruby Tuesday is looking to buy back between five and 10 restaurants this year. It bought 20 in the first quarter.

It reiterated expectations for earnings of 76 to 86 cents per share for the 2011 fiscal year. Analysts expect 85 cents.

Shares of Ruby Tuesday rose 14 cents to close at $12.69 on Wednesday, and fell 13 cents in after-hours trading.

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