Ruby Tuesday, Inc. (NYSE:RT) Q2 2015 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Jan 08, 2015 • 05:00 pm ET

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Ruby Tuesday, Inc. (NYSE:RT) Q2 2015 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

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Presentation
Operator
operator

Greetings. And welcome to the Ruby Tuesday Second Quarter Fiscal Year 2015 Earnings Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. A question-and-answer session will follow the formal presentation. (Operator Instructions)

As a reminder, this conference is being recorded. I would now like to turn the conference over to Ms. Jill Golder, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Thank you, Ms. Golder. You may now begin.

Executive
Jill Golder

Thank you, Manny. And welcome everyone to Ruby Tuesday's second quarter fiscal year 2015 earnings call, which is being broadcast live over the Internet.

(Forward-Looking Cautionary Staements)

Our second quarter earnings were released today after the market closed. A copy of our press release can be found on the Investor Relations section of our website at rubytuesday.com and is also available on Business Wire, FirstCall, and other financial media outlets. We plan to release third quarter fiscal year 2015 earnings in early April.

On our call today are J.J. Buettgen, Ruby Tuesday Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer; and Todd Burrowes, Ruby Tuesday Concept President and Chief Operations Officer. Following our prepared remarks, we will open the call for our -- for your questions.

I'll now turn the call over to J.J.

Executive
J.J. Buettgen

Thank you, Jill. Welcome, everyone, and thank you for joining us this afternoon. I will start with a brief review of our second quarter results. Jill will provide a detailed financial review and our outlook for the remainder of fiscal 2015, and Todd will update you on several key operations initiatives and the positive impact these efforts are having on our food, our service and our overall guest experience.

As you saw on our earnings release, we reported a diluted loss per share from continuing operations of $0.15, compared to a diluted loss per share from continuing operations of $0.58 in the same quarter of the prior year.

Our same-restaurant sales decreased 1.0% and our same-restaurant guest counts decreased 1.3%. Our check growth lagged the industry during the quarter as we continue to invest in affordability and promotional efforts.

From a financial perspective our results reflect continued improvement in our business model. Restaurant level margins improved significantly compared to the same quarter a year ago, as our new labor management system and cost savings initiatives improved labor and cost of good sold.

Additionally, SG&A was meaningfully lower than the same quarter last year, in large part by our continued efforts

Executive
Unidentified Speaker

to improve the efficiency and cost effectiveness of our marketing programs.From a sales and guest count perspective, we continue to see unevenness in our month-to-month performance as we have over the last several quarters. During the second quarter, September was strong but performance slowed in October and November.We believe one of the primary drivers of our softer results in the second quarter was the impact of lapping over the successful launch of our new menu and affordability initiatives last year.The second quarter of fiscal 2014 was the first full quarter of our significant menu introductions and included three