Shares in restaurant Ruby Tuesday (RT) plunged on Thursday in response to dreary Q1 earnings released after market close on Wednesday. Shares closed lower, down over 17 percent, after the company reported losses and lowered its outlook for Q2.
This Rolling Stone Gathers a Loss
The restaurant chain had anticipated a loss, but the earnings report still showed them to be much more than expected. FactSheet reported analysts’ estimates of a loss of about $0.05 a share, a number that was dwarfed by the $0.37 per share losses that the company reported. That number also represents a more-than 1,000 percent year-over-year decline.
"The first quarter was challenging as the overall economy failed to realize any significant improvements which adversely affected us and the casual dining industry," said president and CEO JJ Buettgen.
Revenue for Q1 fell to $289.7 million, an 11 percent year-over-year decline and below FactSet’s analyst estimates of $298 million. The chain also reported sales were off 11.4 percent at stores open for a year and 8.4 percent at domestic franchise restaurants. The company also lowered its outlook for next quarter, anticipating a high-single-digit percent decrease in sales at stores that have been open a year for next quarter.
"I remain confident in our brand transformation strategy and in our team's ability to successfully execute our plans," said Buettgen. "Looking ahead to the remainder of fiscal 2014, our top priorities are driving increased guest counts and profitable sales growth."
Goodbye, Ruby Tuesdays?
Ruby Tuesdays has been suffering through a rough year. The company suffered a nearly 25 percent decline in late July after its Q4 earnings report showed losses of $0.49 share. Analysts had expected earnings per share of $0.19, making yesterday’s announcement the second straight hard earnings miss for the company.
Behind some of Ruby Tuesday’s troubles may be the rise of fast casual eateries that offer high-quality food and lower prices and better convenience than sit-down restaurants like Ruby Tuesdays. Shares in Ruby Tuesday are down over 50 percent since the start of 2011.