Restaurant and arcade gaming chain Dave & Buster's (NASDAQ:PLAY) just reported a rough fiscal first quarter, ending May 3, 2020, a period that included the depth of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis in the United States. All of the chain's restaurants were closed from March 20 to the end of the quarter, half of the fiscal time period. Adding to the company's difficulty is the nature of its offerings. As a partial restaurant and a partial arcade, the "eat-and-play" chain provides an on-premise experience that can't be duplicated while customers observe stay-at-home restrictions.
The company reported that comparable store sales declined 58.6% for the quarter, salvaged only by the relatively minimal decrease in February of 8.6%. Revenue fell 56% versus the year-ago period. By comparison, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers (NASDAQ:RRGB), which also reported results this week, said comparable restaurant sales decreased 20.8% for its quarter, with revenue down 25.3% compared to the year-ago quarter. The notable difference is its off-premise sales through car-side and home delivery.
With all of the company's 137 stores closed for the latter half of the quarter, Dave & Buster's focused on conserving cash and increasing liquidity. It suspended its dividend and share repurchase program, and raised $75 million in an equity offering, to end the quarter with $157 million in cash.
After the close of the first quarter, it completed another offering of its common stock in May, to add about $110 million to its balance sheet. The stock offering was priced at $10.44 per share, about 40% below where the stock closed yesterday, prior to the earnings announcement.