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Star Buffet’s net income up 3¢ a share during quarter

SHARE Star Buffet’s net income up 3¢ a share during quarter

Salt Lake-based Star Buffet on Thursday said it had net income of $902,000, or 31 cents per share, during the quarter ended May 21. That compares with net income of $817,000, or 28 cents per share, for the same period a year ago.

The company said the net income increase was primarily due to lower net interest expense and the absence of any asset impairment charges. Last year's quarter included a charge for impairment of long-lived assets of $590,000.

The company said revenues in the most recent quarter totaled $28.7 million, down 9.6 percent from the prior-year period. The company attributed the drop to declines in comparable same-store sales.

Robert E. Wheaton, chairman and chief executive officer, said performance improved at Florida Buffet, JJ North's and JB's Restaurants while the HomeTown Buffet and Casa Bonita operating results "were significantly below those of the prior year."

The company, through its subsidiaries, operates 16 franchised HomeTown Buffet restaurants, 15 BuddyFreddys restaurants, 10 JB's restaurants, seven JJ North's Grand Buffet restaurants, two Casa Bonita Mexican theme restaurants, two Holiday House restaurants and one North's Star Buffet restaurant.

Star Buffet on Thursday also confirmed its previous estimate of earnings for the fiscal year that will range from 55 to 65 cents per share. It expects third-quarter earnings to be between 17 and 20 cents per share.

The company's stock price was at $3.10 early Friday, up 25 cents from Thursday's close. In the past year, it has ranged from $2.11 to $3.62.