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Ruth’s Hospitality Group, Inc. Reports Second Quarter 2017 Financial Results

  • Orlando, FL
  • Ruth’s Hospitality Group
  • 7/28/17

Total Revenues Grew 8%

Earnings Per Share Increased 19% to $0.25

Winter Park, FL--(May 5, 2017)-- Ruth’s Hospitality Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:RUTH) today reported unaudited financial results for its second quarter ended June 25, 2017 and announced a quarterly cash dividend of $0.09 per share to be paid in the third quarter.

Highlights for the second quarter of 2017 compared to the first quarter of 2016 were as follows:

Michael P. O'Donnell, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ruth's Hospitality Group, Inc., noted, “Our sales momentum accelerated in the second quarter and was driven by a traffic increase of 2.1%. These positive traffic trends in the quarter also positively impacted our year-to date traffic, which now sits in positive territory. I am pleased with the continued superior execution from our team members and franchise partners which drove a 7.9% increase in total revenues and a 2.9% increase in Company-owned comparable sales. This topline performance, combined with operating margin expansion and continued execution against our total return strategy, allowed us to generate a 13.6% increase in Non-GAAP earnings per share.”

Review of Second Quarter 2017 Operating Results

Total revenues in the second quarter of 2017 were $100.0 million, an increase of 7.9% compared to $92.7 million in the second quarter of 2016.

Company-owned Sales

Franchise Income

Operating income in the second quarter of 2017 increased 10.4% to $11.5 million, compared to $10.5 million in the second quarter of 2016. As a percentage of total revenues, operating margin increased 25 basis points year-over-year to 11.5%.

Development Update

The Company expects to open its third new Company-owned restaurant of the year in suburban Denver, CO during the fourth quarter of 2017. Additionally, the Company signed a lease for a new restaurant to open in the second half of 2018 in Jersey City, NJ.

Franchise partners are currently expected to open their second restaurant in China, a restaurant in Kauai, HI and relocate the restaurant in Mississauga, Canada during the second half of 2017. In addition, a new franchised restaurant is expected to open in Fort Wayne, IN in 2018.

Quarterly Cash Dividend

Subsequent to the end of the second quarter of 2017, the Company’s Board of Directors approved the payment of a quarterly cash dividend to shareholders of $0.09 per share. This dividend will be paid on August 24, 2017 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on August 10, 2017, and represents a 29% increase from the quarterly cash dividend paid in August of 2016.

Share Repurchase Program and Debt

During the second quarter of 2017, the Company repurchased 400,000 shares of common stock under its current share repurchase program, for approximately $8.4 million or an average price of $21.08 per share.

At the end of the second quarter of 2017, the Company had $21 million in debt outstanding under its senior credit facility.

Financial Outlook

Based on current information, Ruth's Hospitality Group, Inc. is updating its full year 2017 outlook based on a 53 week year ending December 31, 2017, as follows:

The foregoing statements are not guarantees of future performance, and therefore, undue reliance should not be placed upon them. We refer you to our recent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission for more detailed discussions of the risks that could impact our financial outlook and our future operating results and financial condition.

Conference Call

The Company will host a conference call to discuss second quarter 2017 financial results today at 8:30 AM Eastern Time. Hosting the call will be Michael P. O’Donnell, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Arne G. Haak, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer and Cheryl Henry, President and Chief Operating Officer.

The conference call can be accessed live over the phone by dialing 719-325-4865. A replay will be available one hour after the call and can be accessed by dialing 412-317-6671; the password is 7483430. The replay will be available until August 4, 2017. The call will also be webcast live from the Company's website at www.rhgi.com under the investor relations section.

About Ruth’s Hospitality Group, Inc.

Ruth's Hospitality Group, Inc., headquartered in Winter Park, Florida, is the largest fine dining steakhouse company in the U.S. as measured by the total number of Company-owned and franchisee-owned restaurants, with over 150 Ruth’s Chris Steak House locations worldwide specializing in USDA Prime grade steaks served in Ruth’s Chris’ signature fashion – “sizzling.”

For information about our restaurants, to make reservations, or to purchase gift cards, please visit www.RuthsChris.com. For more information about Ruth’s Hospitality Group, Inc., please visit www.rhgi.com.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains “forward-looking statements” that reflect, when made, the Company’s expectations or beliefs concerning future events that involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements frequently are identified by the words “believe,” “anticipate,” “expect,” “estimate,” “intend,” “project,” “targeting,” “will be,” “will continue,” “will likely result,” or other similar words and phrases. Similarly, statements herein that describe the Company’s objectives, plans or goals, including with respect to new restaurant openings, strategy, financial outlook and capital expenditures also are forward-looking statements. Actual results could differ materially from those projected, implied or anticipated by the Company’s forward-looking statements. Some of the factors that could cause actual results to differ include: reductions in the availability of, or increases in the cost of, USDA Prime grade beef, fish and other food items; changes in economic conditions and general trends; the loss of key management personnel; the effect of market volatility on the Company’s stock price; health concerns about beef or other food products; the effect of competition in the restaurant industry; changes in consumer preferences or discretionary spending; labor shortages or increases in labor costs; the impact of federal, state or local government regulations relating to Company employees, the sale or preparation of food, the sale of alcoholic beverages and the opening of new restaurants; harmful actions taken by the Company’s franchisees; a material failure, interruption or security breach of the Company’s information technology network; repeal or reduction of the federal FICA tip credit; unexpected expenses incurred as a result of the sale of the Mitchell’s Restaurants; the Company’s ability to protect its name and logo and other proprietary information; an impairment in the financial statement carrying value of our goodwill, other intangible assets or property; the impact of litigation; the restrictions imposed by the Company’s Credit Agreement; and changes in, or the discontinuation of, the Company’s quarterly cash dividend payments or share repurchase program. For a discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see “Risk Factors” in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 25, 2016, which is available on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. All forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement, and the Company undertakes no obligation to revise or update this press release to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof. You should not assume that material events subsequent to the date of this press release have not occurred.

Unless the context otherwise indicates, all references in this report to the “Company,” “Ruth’s,” “we,” “us”, “our” or similar words are to Ruth’s Hospitality Group, Inc. and its subsidiaries. Ruth’s Hospitality Group, Inc. is a Delaware corporation formerly known as Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Inc., and was founded in 1965.

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