Coronavirus squashed Dunkin' first quarter US comparable-store sales

Doughnut and coffee chain says it is suspending quarterly dividend and share-buyback programs

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Dunkin' Brands Group Inc. said U.S. comparable-store sales fell for the first quarter and withdrew its 2020 guidance as the company is still limiting service as its U.S. restaurants amid government mandates to contain the spread of Covid-19.

The doughnut and coffee chain Thursday posted sales of $323.1 million, up from $319.1 million in the year-ago period. Analysts polled by FactSet were looking for $310.6 million. Global systemwide sales fell 0.2% for the quarter, Dunkin' said.

Comparable-store sales in the U.S. Dunkin' segment fell 2%, the company said. The metric grew 3.5% for the first 10 weeks of the quarter ended March 28 but later plunged 19.4% in the final three weeks as shelter-in-place measures were implemented.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
DNKNDUNKIN BRANDS GROUP84.50+2.59+3.16%

At the Baskin-Robbins ice-cream segment in the U.S., which the company also owns, comparable-store sales grew 1.8% for the quarter. The metric grew 11% for the first 10 weeks before falling 23.3% for the final three weeks, the company said.

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"Prior to the crisis, we experienced strong first quarter performance across the system, including Dunkin' U.S. which was on track to have its highest quarterly comps in more than six years and positive traffic," Chief Executive Dave Hoffmann said.

Net income was $52.1 million, or 63 cents a share, compared with $52.3 million, or 63 cents a share, in the comparable quarter last year. Adjusted earnings were 67 cents a share.

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Analysts were looking for earnings of 61 cents a share, or 62 cents a share on an adjusted basis.

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The company also said it is suspending its quarterly dividend and share-buyback programs.

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