Ruby Tuesday Reports $34.7 Million Loss As Sales Plummet 7.8%

Ruby Tuesday (NYSE: RT  ) reported a net loss of $34.7 million, or $0.58 a share, in announcing its earnings today for the second quarter of its 2014 fiscal year. After the exclusion of special items, the company's loss stood at $25.9 million, or $0.43 per share, compared with a $4.2 million loss from continuing operations during the comparable period last year. Analysts estimated a loss of $0.26 per share, according to the latest data from Yahoo! Finance.

Same-store sales at company-owned restaurants fell by 7.8%, and those at its franchised restaurants fell by 5.3%. The number of guests fell by 6.3%, though that was lower than the 10.8% drop in the first quarter of its fiscal 2014.

In total, Ruby Tuesday saw its revenue from continuing operations drop by 8% year over year, falling from $300 million to $276 million.

"We made solid progress in the second quarter as our strategies to reposition Ruby Tuesday to a more casual, energetic, and broadly appealing brand began to gain traction," said Ruby Tuesday's chairman, president, and CEO, JJ Buettgen. "We continue to focus on the four pillars of our brand transformation: menu, service, atmosphere, and communication."

The company neither opened nor closed any locations during the quarter, but it has identified 30 restaurants that it will close, which resulted in a $4.4 million impairment charge in the current quarter. It also expects an additional $2 million in charges in the third quarter as a result of the closings. The company anticipates that 27 of those restaurants will close in the third quarter.

For the 26 weeks ended Dec. 31, Ruby Tuesday reported a loss of $0.94 per share, or $56.6 million, compared with a $0.20-per-share, or $12.5 million, loss through the same period in 2012. 

Buettgen concluded, "We believe the path to this success is through a menu that is innovative and affordable, service that delivers a solid guest experience in an atmosphere that is fun and energetic, and communicating with effective advertising and promotions that bring the brand transformation to life and reshapes consumer perceptions of the Ruby Tuesday brand."


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