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Morgan Keegan raised its investment recommendation on Ruby Tuesday (RI
) to outperform from market perform on Wednesday, explaining that the restaurant chain is likely to outperform its peers.
Analyst Robert Derrington said Ruby Tuesday's first quarter sales demonstrated a sequentially improving trend. Despite an uncertain consumer environment, the analyst believes that the restuarant will likely outperform its peers, based on facturs such as a successful transition of its advertising strategy and higher visibility of earnings per share growth relative to peers. While noting that Ruby Tuesday might have some recent operating impact due to Hurricane Katrina, the analyst believes this impact will prove relatively immaterial. He sees $1.60 fiscal year 2006 (ending May) earnings per share, and $1.85 fiscal year 2007 earnings per share.