- Cullman, Alabama

January 11, 2013

Cullman Ruby Tuesday not among those closing nationally

By Trent Moore
The Cullman Times

CULLMAN — Amid a second-quarter fiscal loss, the Ruby Tuesday company has announced plans to close approximately two dozen locations nationwide — but local officials say the Cullman restaurant is not one of them.

Sarah Beaty, general manager of the Ruby Tuesday in Cullman, told The Times that the local restaurant is absolutely remaining open.

“Yes, we’re staying open,” she said. “We’re not in any danger of closing, and in fact we do more business than a lot of restaurants in districts around the area.”

The company owns or franchises 786 Ruby Tuesday restaurants and 22 Lime Fresh locations across the country. The company has already announced it will shutter 13 Marlin & Ray's restaurants, one Wok Hay restaurant and hopes to sell two licensed Truffles Grill restaurants. Between 6-8 Ruby Tuesdays will be closed, along with two Lime Fresh restaurants.

“They’re essentially focusing in areas that have multiple locations in close proximity, to renew focus,” Beaty said.

Based in Maryville, Tenn., the company expects to record a $16.9 million pre-tax charge in its second-quarter tied to the closings and incur $2 million to $5 million in other charges in its third quarter.

The moves comes shortly after the company appointed JJ Buettgen as President and CEO. The former Darden Restaurants Inc. executive took over Dec. 1 following the departure of the company's founder and longtime CEO Sandy Beall, who resigned in June, according to the Associated Press.

Ruby Tuesday closed 29 of its company-owned namesake restaurants in the past year. That helped push down quarterly revenue to $304.2 million from $307.4 million last year.

The company posted a net loss of $15.1 million, or 24 cents per share, for the quarter that ended Dec. 4. That compares with a loss of $2 million, or 3 cents per share, in the same quarter last year. Excluding one-time items, Ruby Tuesday lost 7 cents per share.

Analysts polled by FactSet expected a loss of 6 cents per share on revenue of $305 million.

Revenue from company-owned Ruby Tuesday restaurants open at least a year increased 0.3 percent for the period. That is considered a key indicator of financial performance, since it strips away the impact of recently opened or closed stores.

Ruby Tuesday expects to earn 24 to 30 cents per share for its 2013 fiscal year on an adjusted basis. Analysts forecast 29 cents per share.

The company's board increased its share buyback authorization by 10 million shares for a total 12.7 million shares approved for repurchase.

Ruby Tuesday shares fell 71 cents, or 8.5 percent, to $7.60 in after-hours trading. It fell 5 cents to close at $8.31 in the regular session. The stock has traded between $4.98 and $9.39 in the past 52 weeks.

* The Associated Press contributed to this report.

* Trent Moore can be reached by e-mail at, or by telephone at 734-2131, ext. 220.