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Ruby Tuesday (RT) Drops After Downbeat 2Q, Guidance

 January 09, 2013 04:30 PM

(By Balaseshan) Ruby Tuesday Inc. (NYSE: RT), which operates casual dining restaurants, reported a wider quarterly loss due to lower revenue as well as higher costs and expenses. Loss was wider than Street's expectations, sending its shares down 4.45% in aftermarket.

Loss for the second quarter widened to $15.07 million or $0.24 per share from $2.0 million or $0.03 per share last year. Excluding items, loss for the latest quarter was $4.6 million or $0.07 per share.

Revenue declined 1% to $304.23 million, due to the permanent closure of 29 company-owned Ruby Tuesday concept restaurants.

Analysts, on average, polled by Thomson Reuters had expected a loss of $0.06 per share on revenue of $305.01 million for the second quarter.

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Same-restaurant sales increased 0.3% at company-owned Ruby Tuesday restaurants. Restaurant sales for domestic franchise restaurants increased by 0.2%.

In addition, the company has decided to close and exit the Marlin & Ray's and Wok Hay concepts, close two company-developed Lime Fresh restaurants, and seek a buyer for the Truffles Grill concept which it currently license.

Looking ahead into the fiscal 2013, the company narrowed its adjusted earnings guidance to range of $0.24 to $0.30 per share from previous estimate of $0.24 to $0.34 per share, while Street predicts $0.29 per share.

Ruby Tuesday estimates same-restaurant sales for company-owned restaurants to be about flat for the year. The company projects margins to improve about 150-175 basis points.

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The company plans to pursue sale leaseback transactions on up to 20 additional properties for estimated gross proceeds of about $40 million to $45 million.

On January 8, the board of directors increased the share repurchase authorization by 10 million shares.

RT closed Wednesday's regular session down 0.60% at $8.31. The stock has been trading between $4.98 and $9.39 for the past 52 weeks.

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