Revenue at Famous Dave's of America continued to slide in the fourth quarter but same-store sales saw modest increases as the company posted an adjusted loss that was better than expected.
The company's total revenue declined nearly 28 percent, to $12.5 million, a decline it attributed to the closure of 13 restaurants in 2017 as it winnowed unprofitable locations. Same-store sales at company-owned outlets increased 8 percent; franchise-operated outlets saw a 1.1 percent increase.
Total revenue missed analysts' expectations by about $2.5 million, but the company's adjusted loss of 1 cent for the quarter was better than the 3-cent loss anticipated by analysts.
The stock price rose nearly 10 percent to $7.30 during regular trading Monday. The company reported earnings after the markets closed.
"We continue to work on the revitalization … of the guest experience in our core restaurants and remain engaged on the development of the new concept for the future," Jeff Crivello, who became CEO three months ago, said in a prepared statement. The company is hoping that its new "national pitmaster" Travis Clark will help to revitalize the brand. Clark will work closely with founder Dave Anderson to change the menu.
Crivello added that he was pleased by the refranchising of the mid-Atlantic market to its largest franchisee, implementation of a third-party delivery company and a restructuring of the company's general and administrative expenses.
For 2017, the company reported an $8.1 million loss, or $1.16 per share, up from a loss of $2.4 million, or 35 cents a share, a year ago. Revenue was $64.6 million, down from $76.6 million in 2016.
On Monday the barbecue restaurant company also lost its CFO, Dexter Newman, a change that was announced last month. Newman had been in the position since 2016. Paul Malazita, who joined Dave's a year ago, is the interim CFO.
In a departure, Famous Dave's did not have a conference call after the release. Geo Concepcion, chief operating officer, said the executives are using the earnings release as the instrument of information while they focus on running the business. Investors or analysts can call the company with questions.
The company owns 16 locations and franchises 135 restaurants in 32 states, Puerto Rico, Canada and the United Arab Emirates.