) -- There is nothing "less bad" about
. It may have beat Wall Street's profit expectations, but it did so through deep promotions and discounts. And Wall Street is respondingly accordingly.
Shares in the company are tumbling today by 10.6% to $14.73 in afternoon trading.
During the quarter, the company earned $15.8 million, or 15 cents a share, compared with $23.8 million, or 23 cents in the year ago period.
Excluding one-time items, the chain -- which owns Chili's Grill & Bar, On the Border and Maggiano's Little Italy chains -- actually earned 17 cents a share. This surpasses analysts expectations of 15 cents a share.
Still, revenue sank 21% to $778.1 million from $984.4 million, while same-store sales declined 6%. And part of the decline was due to the sale of its Macaroni Grill chain last year.
Traffic was down 5% to 6%, Stifel Nicolaus analyst Steve West wrote in a research note, marking the sixth consecutive year of negative traffic in the first quarter, and proving that significant discounts and blaring promotions didn't work.
"We believe the declining traffic and sales trends are still of utmost concern and support out investment thesis that casual dining is still in the midst of a continued multi-year slump," West wrote.
Meanwhile, in the rest of the sector, drive-through chain
will report its quarterly results after the close today. Behemoth fast-food chain
will report its quarterly results on Thursday, along with
Chipotle Mexican Grill
The Cheesecake Factory
-- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York
Follow TheStreet.com on
and become a fan on
Copyright 2009 TheStreet.com Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.