You can’t put a price tag on millions of folks reading a positive story about your business.
Maryville-based restaurant chain Ruby Tuesday recently was the beneficiary of just such a publicity bonanza a review by a review by 87-year-old restaurant critic Marilyn Hagerty went viral
Hagerty, a columnist for the Grand Forks (N.D.) Herald liked her local Ruby Tuesday, in particular the salad bar and cloth-like napkins.
Bloggers, websites and other digital outlets went crazy. The viral explosion landed Hagerty an interview on NBC’s Today Show where she told Lester Holt she just didn’t get why her reviews went viral.
This wasn’t Hagerty’s first brush with viral fame. A couple of years ago her review of the local Olive Garden sparked a similar viral outburst.
Given its recent financial troubles, Ruby Tuesday should be thankful for the Hagerty generated publicity.
In its most recent financial report, Ruby Tuesday reported a quarterly net loss $34.4 million, or 57 cents per share, and said it would close 30 underperforming locations.
Olive Garden reportedly got a much-needed boost from the Hagerty review and subsequent viral publicity. Not everyone sees the same thing happening for Ruby Tuesday.
A Motley Fool writer said any boost will be short-lived.
“However, it’s not likely that this brave and crafty senior citizen will have any long-term impact on Ruby Tuesday.”
That’s too bad. Ruby Tuesday could use all the help it can get.
Click here for Hagerty’s Ruby Tuesday review
Click here for the Motley Fool analysis.
Click here for Hagerty’s Today Show interview
New Ruby Tuesday President and CEO JJ Buettgen has been given nearly 600,000 shares of company stock as part of his compensation package, the Maryville-based restaurant chain said.
The award includes 497,546 shares of service-based restricted stock and 102,433 shares of “performance-based restricted stock assuming maximum performance is achieved,” according to a news release.
In addition, Buettgen was granted an option to buy more than 750,000 shares.
Restaurant chain Ruby Tuesday had its wrist smacked by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office this week over child labor allegations.
The Maryville-based company has agreed to pay $125,000 to settle the allegations, according to a report in the Boston Business Journal.
The Street Ratings has changed its mind about Ruby Tuesday, downgrading the Maryville-based restaurant chain’s stock from buy to hold.
Despite Ruby Tuesday’s revenue growth and “and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt level,” The Street Ratings cited “deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity” as reasons for the downgrade.
Despite disappointing first quarter earnings, restaurant chain Ruby Tuesday stock was upgraded today by TheStreet Ratings.
TheStreet, a digital financial media company, upped the Maryville-based casual dining chain from hold to buy.
“The company’s strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income,” TheStreet Ratings said.
Does Ruby Tuesday have its eye on other restaurant chains? The Maryville-based casual dining chain announced today it has launched a private offering
to sell senior notes due 2020 to finance a variety of corporate needs, including future acquisitions.
Proceeds from the sale will be used to repay outstanding debt under the company’s revolving credit facility, pay off certain mortgage obligations, and other general corporate purposes, including buying back stock and “to pursue potential strategic acquisitions,” according to a news release.
Ruby Tuesday shares are within sniffing distance of their 52-week low, but not all market watchers are worried.
Writing for TheStreet.com, Jonathan Heller, president of KEJ Financial Advisors, says the Maryville-based restaurant chain deserves watching despite its recent bad earnings report.
Among other positives, Heller notes that RT owns considerable real estate.
“This is no small chain, with about 825 locations, 740 of which are company operated. But the kicker here is that the company owns the land and building for 368 locations and building only for another 250. That’s a potentially interesting portfolio of commercial real estate, especially considering the company’s current $730 million enterprise value. At current levels, shares also trade at just 0.76x tangible book value.”
Here’s Heller’s full report: Hello Ruby Tuesday
Ruby Tuesday’s steep earnings drop last week has attracted interesting contrasts in online chatter.
A report posted today on MSN Money suggests that the Maryville-based restaurant chain has “outgrown its momentum phase” and questions if it will continue to grow.
In contrast, The Street takes a more optimistic view of the company’s financials and has upgraded Ruby Tuesday’s stock from hold to buy.
Who’s right? Here’s more:
Ruby Tuesday lost a bunch of money in the last quarter, but there are reasons to feel good about the restaurant chain’s future, says a Motley Fool report.
“On the face of it, Ruby Tuesday’s $2 million loss in the last quarter may not be exactly good news. And some people are complaining about the salad bar. I would, however, put my money on the company,” says the report by Priya Singh.
Among the positives cite by Singh are “licensing agreenments with concept restaurants such as Lime Fresh Mexican Grill, Marlin & Ray’s, and Truffles Cafe. These restaurants have good brand positioning in the fast casual segment, which is a growing segment in an industry where demand exceeds supply.”
Motley Fool: Ruby Tuesday Won’t Go Out of Tune
Restaurant chain Ruby Tuesday has tried several new ideas to recover from
the Great Recession but the company might be better off getting into the real estate business, a Bloomberg report suggests.
A story on Bloomberg.com says restaurant companies such as Maryville-based Ruby Tuesday and Lebanon, Tenn.-based Cracker Barrel Old Country Store “can make more money selling their own real estate than food.”
“The 10 biggest U.S. restaurants that sell for less than the value of their property, plants and equipment trade at 70 cents on the dollar,” Bloomberg says. The report notes that Ruby Tuesday owns $1 billion worth of fixed assets, “twice its market value.”
Activists investors are taking a hard look at both companies.