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Landry’s says 2nd-Q profits nearly double

HOUSTON Landry’s Restaurants Inc., the restaurant and casino operator that is in the midst of a going-private buyout by its chief executive, on Friday reported that its second quarter net income nearly doubled from a year ago.

For the quarter ended June 30, Landry’s net income totaled $13.9 million, or 90 cents a share, from $6.9 million, or 33 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter.

Latest-quarter revenue rose 1.1 percent to $311.4 million. Same-store sales for the company’s restaurants, which include such brands as Rainforest Cafe, Saltgrass Steakhouse and Landry’s Seafood House, fell 2.5 percent.

Driving the company’s profit gain, even as sales slowed, were reductions in cost of sales and general and administrative expenses. Landry’s also booked just $157,000 in losses from discontinued operations, including the Joe’s Crab Shack chain it divested, versus losses of $2.3 million a year ago.

Income from continuing operations for the second quarter rose 51.8 percent to $14.0 million from $9.2 million last year. That excludes gains in non-cash interest rate swaps in the second quarter of 2008 and charges and expenses in the second quarter of 2007 related to the company’s previous stock-option review and the refinancing of the company’s Golden Nugget casino properties. Excluding the impact of those items, earnings per share from continuing operations totaled 79 cents in the latest quarter versus 75 cents the year before.

Tilman Fertitta, Landry’s founder and chief executive, is buying the 61 percent of the company he doesn’t already own. Fertitta Holdings Inc., a private-equity company created by Fertitta, has offered $21 per share to take the restaurant operator profit. On Aug. 1 Landry’s said it had received no other offers and was going ahead with the sale. Including Landry’s debt, the deal is valued at $1.3 billion.

In addition to casual restaurants, Landry’s operates hotels, marinas, amusements, retail and the Golden Nugget Hotels and Casinos in Las Vegas and Laughlin, Nev.

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