Dunkin Brands Brews Stronger 4Q as Tickets, Traffic Grow

By RetailFOXBusiness

Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin Robbins parent Dunkin Brands (NASDAQ:DNKN) revealed fourth-quarter profit that surpassed Wall Street expectations on Thursday as average tickets and traffic improved at its more established stores.

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The Canton, Mass.-based franchisor of food and beverage quick-serve restaurants reported net income of $36.6 million, or 32 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $36.2 million, or 10 cents.

Excluding special items, Dunkin said it earned 34 cents, topping average analyst estimates in a Thomson Reuters poll by a penny.

Revenue for the three months ended Dec. 29 fell 4% to $161.7 million from $168.5 million a year ago, missing the Street’s view of $170.9 million.

However, Dunkin blamed the sales decline on an extra selling week in the year-earlier period and said same-store sales, a key growth metric for retailers measuring sales at stores open longer than a year, in its latest period grew 3.2% on higher tickets and traffic.

"We have the unique combination of strong brand heritage and significant U.S. and global restaurant expansion opportunities, which we are capitalizing on to drive profitable growth for both our franchisees and shareholders,” said Dunkin CEO Nigel Travis.

Dunkin’s shares climbed nearly 5% to a 52-week high of $40 in morning trade.

Separately on Thursday, Dunkin’s board approved of a dividend increase of 27% to 19 cents a share, payable on Feb. 20 to shareholders of record on Feb. 11.