Ruth's Hospitality Group Inc. (NASDAQ:RUTH) Q1 2018 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

May 04, 2018 • 08:30 am ET


Ruth's Hospitality Group Inc. (NASDAQ:RUTH) Q1 2018 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript


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Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, and thank you for standing-by. Welcome to today's Ruth's Hospitality Group First Quarter 2018 Earnings Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in listen-only mode. Following the formal remarks, we will conduct a question-and-answer session. Instructions will be provided at that time for you to queue up for questions. As a reminder, today's conference is being recorded.

I would now like to turn the conference over to Mark Taylor, Vice President, Financial Planning Analysis. Please go ahead, sir.

Mark Taylor

Thank you, Sergey, and good morning, everyone. Joining me on the call today are Michael O'Donnell, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; Arne Haak, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer; and Cheryl Henry, President and Chief Operating Officer.

Before we begin, I'd like to remind you that part of our discussion today will include forward-looking statements. These statements are not guarantees of our future performance, and therefore, undue reliance should not be placed upon them. We would like to refer you to the Investor Relations section of our website at as well as the SEC's website at for copies of today's earnings press release and our recent filings with the SEC for a more detailed discussion of the risks that could impact our future operating and financial results. During this call, we will refer to adjusted earnings per share. This non-GAAP measurement was calculated by excluding certain items as well as losses from discontinued operations. We believe that this measure represents a useful internal measure of performance. You can find a reconciliation of adjusted earnings per share in our press release for today's call.

I would now like to turn the call over to our Chairman and CEO, Mike O'Donnell.

Michael P. O'Donnell

Thank you, Mark. And thank you all for joining us on this -- on the call this morning. We are very pleased with our first quarter results, which provided a solid start to 2018. Highlights include total revenue growth up 10%, which included comparable restaurant sales, which were up 1.1%; net income growth of 24%; and non-GAAP diluted earnings per share growth of 29%.

Our revenue growth in the quarter was due to contributions by all our restaurants. During the quarter, we are very pleased with the performance of our restaurants at our comp and non-comp restaurants. Non-comp that we define -- we have four non-comp restaurants as of last year, which we define as not yet open 18 months, and two management restaurants, all are meeting or exceeding our expectations. And of course, the six Hawaiian restaurants, which we acquired in December. We are most pleased with their performance, which delivered year-over-year growth in both sales and profits in Q1. At this point, we remain on track and continue to work towards the complete integration of the back-of-the-house functions for these restaurants. We expect to have that done later this summer.

Operationally however, we inherited a great team built by Randy Schoch, our franchisee, operating his Desert Island Restaurants, and we thank Randy and