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Luby's stock drops as 2nd-quarter profit declines

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of Luby's Inc. fell more than 5 percent on Thursday as its second-quarter profit slid 81 percent on rising food costs and expenses as consumers tightened their discretionary spending. The company also cut its full-year earnings forecast.

THE SPARK: Luby's, which runs Luby's Cafeteria, Fuddruckers and other brands, reported late Wednesday that its fiscal second-quarter net income declined to $203,000, or 1 cent per share, from $1.1 million, or 4 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue for the period ended Feb. 13 rose 10 percent to $87.5 million from $79.4 million. Revenue in locations open at least 18 months fell 0.6 percent. The metric is a key indicator of a company's health because it removes the impact of locations that have recently opened or closed.

Luby's now anticipates full-year earnings between 21 cents and 25 cents per share. The Houston company's prior guidance called for earnings in a range of 27 cents to 30 cents per share. In its fiscal 2012, Luby's earned 24 cents per share.

It also expects sales in restaurants open at least 18 months to be flat to down 1 percent. Previously it expected growth of up to 1.5 percent.

SHARE ACTION: Luby's stock dropped 48 cents, or 5.6 percent, to $8.04 in afternoon trading. The stock has traded in a 52-week range of $4.98 to $8.63.