Ruby Tuesday 4Q loss grows

Ruby Tuesday 4th quarter loss widens on weak sales and charges

Associated Press

MARYVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Ruby Tuesday Inc. fiscal fourth-quarter loss widened on weak sales at its restaurants and charges to write down the value of one of its brands.

The company, which owns the Ruby Tuesday and Lime Fresh brands, called it a transitional year. It has added new leadership and closed a number of restaurants, such as Marlin &Ray's, Truffles Grill and Wok Hay, to focus on its core business. It also began revamping its namesake brand to broaden its appeal by updating its menu, service, atmosphere and marketing.

Ruby Tuesday President and CEO JJ Buettgen said that while the company is disappointed with the results for the quarter and year, it is confident about its future.

The company posted a loss of $29.1 million, or 49 cents per share, for the quarter that ended June 4. That compares with a loss of $5.8 million, or 9 cents per share, in its fourth quarter last year. After adjusting for impairment charges and other special items in both periods, it earned 12 cents per share from continuing operations for the year versus 19 cents per share last year.

Revenue dropped to $316.1 million from $357.9 million.

Analysts expected earnings of 19 cents per share on revenue of $331 million, according to FactSet.

Shares fell 63 cents, or 6.9 percent, to $8.45 in after-hours trading.

Revenue from Ruby Tuesday restaurants open at least a year fell 3.1 percent at its company owned sites and 5.1 percent at its franchise restaurants. This is considered a key indicator of financial performance as it excludes the impact of recently opened or closed stores.

The company expects that measure will be down in the high single digits in the fiscal first quarter but will move to positive territory by the second half of the year based on its new menu and marketing plans.

Ruby Tuesday, based in Maryville, Tenn., has 783 Ruby Tuesday restaurants and 24 Lime Fresh restaurants that it either owns or franchises.

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