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The company also announced net income of $427,000, or $0.05 per share for the 13 weeks ended March 31st compared to a net loss of ($154,000) or ($0.02) per share for the same period a year ago. The earnings per share, or EPS, of $0.05 is at the high end of the company's $0.04-$0.05 range previously announced on April 10th . The year-over-year increase in earnings was primarily driven by the October 2001 closing of 11 under performing locations, margin improvements in labor and food expenses, and the 1.8% comparable store sales increase. Ralph Rubio, Chairman and CEO, stated, "I am very pleased with our financial performance for the first quarter. We are now seeing the results of the earnings improvement initiatives we began last year."
Rubio's opened five new restaurants and closed one restaurant during the first quarter. The company expects to open an additional three company-owned stores this year. On April 15th, the company sold its four locations in the Las Vegas, Nevada market to a franchisee. In addition, the first franchise location in the Portland, Oregon market was opened on April 25th.
Former Rubio's vice-president Ira Fils was promote to CFO.. Fils had served as vice-president of finance since January 2001, after beginning his career with Rubio's in 1998 as its Director of Financial Planning and Analysis.
The company now expects second quarter EPS in the $0.08-$0.10 range with comparable stores sales increasing 1.0%-2.0%. The company expects full-year 2002 EPS in the $0.22-$0.25 range, an increase over previously announced guidance of $0.20-$0.23 per share. <