Steak n Shake reports loss for 1st Q

INDIANAPOLIS Steak n Shake Co.’s stock price tumbled Friday, a day after the company reported a loss of $1.2 million, or 4 cents per share, for its latest quarter ended Dec. 19, versus a profit of $4.2 million, or 15 cents per share, a year earlier.

 

Revenues for the latest first quarter were $136.4 million, down 7.4 percent from $147.3 million a year earlier. Same-store sales at corporate units fell 9.5 percent for the quarter, compared with a decline of 1.7 percent for the same period a year earlier.

 

 

Steak n Shake reported the first quarter results after the markets closed on Thursday. In trading on Friday, Steak n Shake’s stock fell 5.6 percent to close at $8.25. For the past 52 weeks, the company’s stock has traded between $7.19 and $18.10 per share.

 

 

Alan Gilman, Steak n Shake’s chairman and interim president and CEO, blamed the first quarter’s disappointing results on bad December weather, a deteriorating consumer economic environment, challenges in store-level execution and intense promotional activity from competitors.

 

 

He said that initiatives aimed at improving same-store sales would include the launch of a new breakfast menu in March, stepped-up media advertising in major markets and more promotions around the chain’s signature Steakburger sandwiches. The new breakfast lineup will feature handheld sandwiches and upgraded Seattle’s Best coffee, Gilman said.

 

 

Steak n Shake said in a statement that it continues to explore “strategic opportunities” to improve shareholder value. It also noted that its search for a new CEO was ongoing. Gilman has been serving as interim CEO since Peter Dunn resigned last August.

 

 

Earlier this week, activist investor Sardar Biglari sent a letter to other shareholders that pressed for the ouster of Gilman, director James Williamson Jr. and other leaders. He nominated himself and a colleague to Steak n Shake's board. Biglari through his investment affiliates holds an 8.5-percent stake in Steak n Shake.

 

 

Steak n Shake’s annual meeting, during which all board members will be voted upon, is scheduled for the second week of February.

 

 

Indianapolis-based Steak n Shake operates 435 restaurants and franchises 62 others.