Luby's, Inc. (NYSE:LUB) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Nov 26, 2019 • 11:00 am ET

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Luby's, Inc. (NYSE:LUB) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

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Presentation
Operator
Operator

Greetings and welcome to the Luby's Fiscal 2019 Fourth Quarter Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions].

It is now my pleasure to introduce your host, Steve Goodweather, VP of Finance and Investor Relations. Thank you, Mr. Goodweather. You may begin.

Executive
Steve Goodweather

Thank you and again, I welcome everyone to Luby's 2019 Fiscal Fourth Quarter Earnings Conference Call. This call is also being webcast and can be accessed to the audio link on Luby's website lubysinc.com. Information recorded on this call speaks only as of today, November 26, 2019.

Before we continue, I'd like to remind you that the statements in this discussion regarding Luby's future financial and operating results are forward-looking statements. Those statements include risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to, general business conditions, the impact of competition, success of operating initiatives, changes in commodity costs and supply of food and labor as well as seasonality of the Company's business, taxes, inflation, governmental regulations and availability of credit as well as the other risks and uncertainties disclosed in the Company's periodic reports on Forms 10-K and Forms 10-Q.

With that, I would now like to turn the call over to Luby's President and CEO, Chris Pappas. Chris?

Executive
Chris Pappas

Thank you, Steve. Good morning everyone and thank you for joining us on today's conference call. I'll begin with an update on our turnaround progress and comments about the fourth quarter. I'll then turn the call over to our COO, Todd Coutee followed by remarks from our CFO, Scott Gray.

In the fourth quarter, we were not pleased with our same-store sales or guest traffic results. Same-store sales decreased 3.7% and total sales decreased 14.9% to $71.4 million due in large part to us operating 22 fewer stores. And while we did reduce our G&A expenses in the fourth quarter by $1.2 million or about 12.7% compared to the fourth quarter last year, we still have a lot of work to do to match up our corporate overhead and our other cost to the size of our organization now.

As I discussed with you last quarter, our plans in turning around the Company include a number of initiatives that we began in late 2019 to improve our restaurant sales, reduce our expenses and improve our overall financial performance.

Operationally, our whole team is working diligently and we're making progress on a number of these turnaround efforts, already and fiscal 2020. We are seeing some improved guest traffic and sales trends. Additionally, we're transitioning portions of our accounting payroll operational reporting and other back-office functions to a leading multi-unit restaurant outsource -- outsourcing firm. We hope to be completing the transition in the first calendar quarter of 2020 on some of these changes and we hope to realize additional cost savings going forward from this transition over time going forward.

In September, we announced that the Company's Board of Directors formed a new Board Special Committee comprised of our Independent Directors with the purpose of establishing a strategic review process that would identify, examine and