CKE Restaurants' Loss Widens

From Bloomberg News

CKE Restaurants Inc., which owns the Hardee's and Carl's Jr. hamburger chains, said Tuesday its loss widened dramatically in its fiscal first quarter and its second quarter also will be a losing one.

The Anaheim company attributed the losses mainly to costs in closing and selling restaurants.

The loss for the quarter ending May 21 grew to $37.1 million, or 74 cents a share, from last year's first-quarter loss of $2.45 million or 5 cents a share, the company said.

Sales fell 19% to $471.5 million from $584.3 million.

CKE, which has had losses for six straight quarters, sold or closed 110 Hardee's and Carl's Jr. stores as it struggled with falling sales and higher energy costs. It plans to close more stores this quarter.

CKE also had costs from the sale of the Taco Bueno chain to Jacobson Partners for $72.5 million this month.

"I believe we made the most progress this quarter," Chief Executive Andrew Puzder told industry analysts. The company's current debt is about $46 million, compared with about $300 million more than a year ago, he said.

Sales at stores open at least a year fell 4.2%, compared with a 10.9% decline in the same quarter last year.

Shares of CKE rose 14 cents Tuesday to close at $2.70 a share on the New York Stock Exchange.

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