Ark Restaurants Beats on Solid Comps

Zacks

Ark Restaurants Corp. (ARKR) reported first quarter 2012 earnings of 31 cents per share, outpacing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 2 cents as well as the year-ago loss of 6 cents a share. The better-than-expected results were driven by improving same-store sales (comps).

Ark Restaurants reported total revenue of $33.2 million, up 2.1% year over year, attributable to an 8.9% rise in company-wide comps.

The operating income of the company stood at $1.3 million in the reported quarter as opposed to $0.1 million in the year-ago quarter, reflecting a contraction of 2.4% in payroll, a decline of 0.9% in food and beverage cost, a decrease of 11.7% in other operating expenses and a 16.8% drop in depreciation and amortization, partially offset by a rise of 4.8% in occupancy expense and a spike of 13.6% in general and administrative expense.

New York-based Ark Restaurants stated that adjusted EBITDA in the quarter was $2.4 million, up 128% from the year-ago quarter of $1.0 million.

Net income from operations came in at $1.1 million, compared with a loss of $0.2 million in the prior-year quarter.

Financial Aspects

As of December 31, 2010, the company had cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments of $6.1 million. Ark Restaurants has long-term debt of $2.0 million due to the purchase of 250,000 treasury shares in December 2011.

Our Take

The company reported solid results and hence we expect estimates to go up in the coming days. The Zacks Consensus Estimates for fiscal 2012 and fiscal 2013 are $1.34 and $1.62 per share, respectively, reflecting year-over-year growth of 42.6% and 20.9%.

Ark Restaurants’ close competitors Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc (RRGB) is slated to release its fourth quarter 2011 results on February 16, 2012.

Ark Restaurants through its subsidiaries owns and operates 20 restaurants and bars and 28 fast food concepts and catering operations.

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