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Dunkin’ Brands lifts dividend by 7.3%, announces $250 million stock buyback

Dunkin' Brands

CANTON, Mass., U.S. – Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc, the parent company of Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins (BR), yesterday reported results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended December 28, 2019 showing a rise in profit as it announced a new stock buyback and increased its dividend.

The company said fourth-quarter net income rose 8.5% to $57.7 million, or 69 cents a share, as revenue rose 5.1% to $335.9 million. U.S. comparable store sales rose 2.8% at Dunkin’ U.S., its best performance in six years, and climbed 4.1% at Baskin-Robbins U.S.

The company on an adjusted basis said it would have earned 73 cents a share. For 2020, it expects adjusted earnings between $3.16 and $3.21 a share – analysts expected $3.29 – on low-single-digit comparable store sales growth at both Dunkin’ U.S. and Baskin-Robbins U.S. The Canton, Mass. firm is increasing its dividend by 7.3% to 40.25 cents a share and authorizing a $250 million stock buyback.

Fourth quarter highlights include:

  • Dunkin’ U.S. comparable store sales growth of 2.8%
  • Baskin-Robbins U.S. comparable store sales growth of 4.1%
  • Added 146 net new Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins locations globally, including 76 net new Dunkin’ locations in the U.S.
  • Revenues increased 5.1%
  • Diluted EPS increased by 7.8% to $0.69
  • Diluted adjusted EPS increased by 7.4% to $0.73

Fiscal year 2019 highlights for Dunkin’ Brands include:

  • Dunkin‘ U.S. comparable store sales growth of 2.1%
  • Baskin-Robbins U.S. comparable store sales growth of 0.8%
  • Added 385 net new Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins locations globally, including 211 net new Dunkin’ locations in the U.S.
  • Revenues increased 3.7%
  • Diluted EPS increased by 6.6% to $2.89
  • Diluted adjusted EPS increased by 9.3% to $3.17

“Our strong performance in 2019 is indicative of the progress we’re making to transform our two beloved brands around the world. All business segments delivered positive comparable store sales growth in the fourth quarter and for the fiscal year, reflecting broad-based momentum across the system,” said Dave Hoffmann, Dunkin’ Brands Chief Executive Officer.

“We had a strong finish to the year, led by Dunkin‘ U.S. comparable store sales growth of 2.8 percent in the fourth quarter, the highest quarterly comparable sales growth in six years, fueled by espresso and cold brew sales, coupled with the successful launch of the Beyond Sausage® Sandwich, and sustained performance of our national value platforms. Better quality food and beverage enabled by better equipment is a cornerstone of the Dunkin’ Blueprint for Growth, which is the reason we are investing $60 million in high-volume brewers for our franchisees’ restaurants in 2020 as part of our commitment to beverage leadership.”

“We are pleased to have delivered on our revenue, operating income, and earnings per share targets for 2019. We also achieved our Dunkin’ U.S. net development goal for the year, exceeded our first-year sales goals for new restaurants, and ended the year with more than 500 new and remodeled NextGen restaurants,” said Kate Jaspon, Dunkin’ Brands Chief Financial Officer.

“We will be exiting 450 limited-menu Dunkin’ Speedway owned and operated locations throughout 2020, closing under a termination agreement entered into with Speedway. These limited-menu locations are lower volume units, in total representing less than 0.5 percent of Dunkin’ U.S. annual systemwide sales. By exiting these sites, with minimal financial impact, we’re confident we’ll be better positioned to serve many of these trade areas in the coming years with new Dunkin’ NextGen restaurants that offer a broader menu.”