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Waning Social Buzz Presaged Ruby Tuesday's Store Closures

Waning Social Buzz Presaged Ruby Tuesday's Store Closures - Ruby Tuesday, Inc. NYSE:RT

Last week, Ruby Tuesday, Inc. RT 3.22% shares plummeted when the company announced in its quarterly report that it plans to close another 95 underperforming restaurants by the end of 2016. The announced closures will leave just 629 Ruby Tuesday locations remaining.

“The decision to close restaurants is a difficult but necessary step as we take aggressive actions to strengthen our organization,” CEO JJ Buettgen said of the closures.

Ruby Tuesday’s revenue fell 5.9 percent in fiscal 2016 and its same-store sales dropped 3.7 percent.

According to data from TickerTags, the writing was on the wall for Ruby Tuesday.

TickerTags monitors social media sites to identify trends by searching for words and phrases that appear together in social media content, such as tweets.

While Ruby Tuesday revenue dropped 5.9 percent in the fiscal year, organic social media mentions of “Ruby Tuesday” are down a staggering 35 percent year-over-year so far in 2016. In addition, Ruby Tuesday mentions declined by an incredible 27 percent sequentially in Q2 compared to Q1.

Slumping sales is one thing, but it will be difficult for Ruby Tuesday to turn around its business in the near term when its social media buzz seems to be evaporating by the day.

Ruby Tuesday’s stock is down 44.6 percent in 2016.

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