Applebee's Parent DineEquity Stock Surges 14% After Profit Beat

By Ciara Linnane Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Shares of Applebee's parent DineEquity Inc. soared 14% Thursday, after the company topped profit estimates for its latest quarter. The Glendale, Calif.-based restaurant operator, which also owns IHOP, said it had net income of $20.9 million, or $1.18 a share, in the second quarter, down from $26.4 million, or $1.45 a share, in the year-earlier period. Adjusted per-share earnings came to $1.30, well ahead of the FactSet consensus of $1.19. Revenue edged down to $155.2 million from $160.3 million, just below the FactSet consensus of $156 million. Same-restaurant sales fell 2.6% at IHOP and 6.2% at Applebee's. "We are investing in the empowerment of our brands by improving overall franchisee financial health, closing underperforming restaurants and enhancing the supply chain," Chief Executive Richard Dahl said in a statement. Dahl said 2017 is expected to be a transitional year for Applebee's, while IHOP is investing in online ordering and delivery. The company is still expecting Applebee's same-restaurant sales to range from down 6% to down 8% in 2017, compared with prior guidance of down 4% to down 8%. IHOP same-restaurant sales are expected to range from down 1% to down 3%, compared with prior guidance of flat to up 3%. The company is planning to close 105 to 135 underperforming Applebee's restaurants, compared with prior expectations of 40 to 60 closures. Shares have fallen 45% in 2017, while the S&P 500 has gained 10%.

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