WINTER PARK, Fla. (AP) — It was all turf and not so much surf during the second quarter at Ruth's Hospitality Group, which posted a 33 percent jump in net income for the second quarter Friday.
The restaurateur topped Wall Street expectations thanks to healthy traffic at its Ruth Chris Steak house locations, sending shares up more than 8 percent in premarket trading.
Net income for the three months ended June 30 rose to $7.8 million, or 22 cents per share. That compares with net income of $5.8 million, or 17 cents per share last year. Excluding one-time items, net income totaled 20 cents per share, which was still 3 cents better than analysts had expected, according to FactSet.
Revenue rose 5 percent to $101.8 million, which also edged out most projections.
Revenue in stores open at least one year rose 4.6 percent at Ruth's Chris Steak House. Traffic at those restaurants rose 2.1 percent, and the average customer check rose 2.5 percent.
However, comparable store sales at Mitchell's Fish Market fell 1.4 percent. Traffic at those restaurants declined 2.8 percent, though the average check rose 1.5 percent.
Analysts pay close attention to sales at stores open at least a year because it removes the volatility that comes with newly opened or closed locations and provides a better gauge of a company's health.
"We maintained our operating momentum during the second quarter, highlighted by the 13th straight quarter of positive comparable sales growth and an 18 percent increase in our adjusted earnings per share," said Chairman and CEO Michael O'Donnell.
Ruth's Hospitality Group, based in Winter Park, Fla., and founded in 1965, operates about 150 company owned and franchised restaurants.
Shares rose $1 to hit $13.20 before the opening bell.
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