Selling, general and administrative (“SG&A”) expenses were $24.5 million in the 12 weeks ended September 30, 2012, compared to $22.9 million in the same period of fiscal 2011. Selling expenses were $5.5 million in the third quarter 2012, an increase of $0.5 million due primarily to higher costs related to the expansion of the Company’s gift card program. Other general and administrative costs increased $1.1 million due mainly to development of the Company’s new information systems and higher stock-based compensation.
The Company had an effective tax rate of 25.5% in the fiscal third quarter of 2012, compared to a 21.7% tax benefit in the fiscal third quarter of 2011. Income tax expense in the fiscal third quarter of 2012 was $1.2 million compared to a tax benefit of $0.4 million for the same period in 2011.
As of the end of the fiscal third quarter of 2012, there were 331 Company-owned Red Robin ® restaurants, five Red Robin’s Burger Works ® and 132 franchised Red Robin locations. In the fiscal third quarter of 2012, the Company opened four new Red Robin ® restaurants and two new Red Robin’s Burger Works ® and closed one Company-owned restaurant. Two franchised locations in Texas that closed during the fiscal second quarter of 2012 were reopened in the fiscal third quarter of 2012 by a different franchisee.Balance Sheet and Liquidity On September 30, 2012, the Company had cash and cash equivalents of $26.9 million and total debt of $132.0 million, including $10.1 million of capital lease liabilities. During the fiscal third quarter of 2012, the Company repurchased approximately 266,000 shares of stock for $7.9 million. During the first 40 weeks of fiscal 2012, the Company repurchased approximately 521,000 shares for $15.7 million. As of September 30, 2012, under the current board-authorized plan, $32.0 million remained available for future stock repurchases.