Burger King's 4Q Profits Climb 37%, Top Forecasts

Burger King Worldwide (NYSE:BKW) beat the Street on Thursday with a 37% jump in fourth-quarter profits as the fast-food giant benefited from new menu items and lower expenses.

Shares of the rival to Wendy’s (NYSE:WEN) and McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) advanced almost 3% to fresh 52-week highs on the news.

Burger King said it earned $66.8 million, or 19 cents a share, last quarter, compared with a  profit of $48.6 million, or 14 cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, it earned 24 cents a share, topping estimates from analysts by a penny.

Revenue slumped 34% to $265.2 million, trailing the Street’s view of $270 million. Global same-store sales increased 1.7%.

“In North America, our focus on launching fewer, more impactful products helped drive improved sales trends as the year progressed,” Burger King CEO Daniel Schwartz said in a statement.

Burger King’s results were boosted by an 89% plunge in total company restaurant expenses.

Shares of Miami-based Burger King rallied 2.86% to $26.21 Thursday morning, extending their 2014 rally to almost 15%.