Morton's adjusted net income, revenues down

by Bryan Salvage
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CHICAGO – Morton's Restaurant Group Inc. announced for the three-month period ended Jan. 3, as compared to the three-month period ended Jan. 4, 2009, excluding unusual items, adjusted net income from continuing operations was $4.0 million, or $0.25 per diluted share, compared to $4.5 million, or $0.29 per diluted share. Revenues decreased 9.4% to $79.2 million.

Comparable restaurant revenues for Morton's steakhouses decreased 11.6% for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009 ended Jan. 3.

During the 12-month period ended Jan. 3 including unusual items, the company's adjusted net income from continuing operations was $1.6 million, or $0.10 per diluted share, which compares to adjusted net income from continuing operations of $6.9 million, or $0.43 per diluted share, for the 12-month period ended Jan. 4, 2009.

Revenues decreased 14.7% to $281.1 million. Comparable restaurant revenues for Morton's steakhouses decreased 19.5%.

"There is no question 2009 presented one of the most challenging economies in our 31-year history,” said Christopher J. Artinian, president and chief executive officer of Morton's Restaurant Group Inc. Restaurants. “The weakened economy resulted in huge downturns in business travel, conventions, entertaining, and spending in general, which adversely impacted our industry.”

But Mr. Artinian said he was pleased to see a modest increase in comparable revenues starting in December 2009 and continuing into January and February of 2010.

Morton’s currently expects first quarter of fiscal 2010 revenues to range between $72.0 million and $74.0 million, including increases in comparable restaurant revenues for Morton's steakhouses of approximately 0% to 2% as compared to the first quarter of fiscal 2009. First quarter diluted net income per share from continuing operations is expected to approximate $0.06 to $0.09.

The company currently expects fiscal year 2010 revenues to range between $291.0 million and $296.0 million, which reflects an increase in comparable restaurant revenues for Morton's steakhouses of approximately 2% to 4% as compared to fiscal 2009. Diluted net income per share from continuing operations for fiscal 2010 is expected to approximate $0.25 to $0.30.

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