Morton’s earnings a little on the rare side

BY BENJAMIN MIRASKI, MEDILL NEWS SERVICE

Morton's menu

Craving a good steak?

No?

Right, you and apparently everyone else.

Morton’s Restaurant Group, Inc. [[MRT]] reported its second quarter earnings after the market closed Wednesday. While revenues were up in total to $88.7 million, comparable store revenues were down 1.9 percent from the year-ago period.

Overall, earnings were down 26.1 percent in the quarter ended June 29,2008 from the same quarter last year, despite having added 7 new restaurants since then.

Morton’s is just another example of companies, especially “luxury” companies being hard hit by the economy.

From the press release:

As previously announced, Morton’s revenues and results have been pressured by the uncertain macroeconomic environment in the United States and industry headwinds, which have impacted guest traffic throughout the industry.

The company released guidance but didn’t put very much stock in its ability to predict the future given the economy.

The stock closed Wednesday at $5.85, and appears it might be poised for a lower open Thursday.

The trend is expected to be similar for Ruth’s Hospitality Group [[RUTH]] which runs five high-end restaurants when they announce earnings on August 5 after the close. Analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research believe that earnings will be off 23.6 percent from the same quarter last year.

Photo of Morton’s menu used under a creative commons license. Taken by Robert S. Donovan.

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