Steak n Shake reports more sales troubles

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The Steak n Shake Co. late this afternoon reported that same-store sales slid 4.3 percent in its third fiscal quarter, which ended July 4. It was the eighth straight quarter same-store sells fell.

The Indianapolis-based diner chain said total sales increased 2.1 percent, to $154 million. Profit was $124,000, compared with $7.3 million in the same period a year earlier. Profit for the latest quarter was dragged down by $5.4 million in pretax charges related to planned restaurant closings and an upgrade of IT systems.

In a press release, the company said high gasoline prices and rising mortgage interest rates continued to pinch consumers, hurting results. Steak n Shake also reported that new chicken sandwiches and chicken entree salads had not significantly boosted customer counts, as had been hoped.

The 496-restaurant chain cut earnings guidance for the full year. It now expects per-share profit of 40 cents to 48 cents. Its previous guidance was 53 cents to 67 cents.

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