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Wendy's Disappoints With Surprise Loss

ATLANTA ( TheStreet) -- Wendy's Arby's (WEN - Get Report) booked a surprise loss in its most recent quarter as revenue came in weaker than expected.

Fast-food chain operator Wendy's Arby's adjusted its forecast, saying 2010 results would likely be toward the low end of its previously announced guidance.
Wendy's

Investors voiced their disapproval, bidding Wendy's shares 3.8% lower ahead of midday on Friday.

"These third-quarter results are simply not satisfactory to us," conceded CEO Roland Smith, who said the quarter was "a difficult one" both for its Wendy's and Arby's brands of fast food restaurants.

>>Restaurant Stocks: Earnings to Watch

Despite its weak quarterly results, Wendy's Arby's upped its quarterly cash dividend by half a penny per share to 2 cents. The higher dividend will be paid next on Dec. 15 to shareholders of record on Dec. 1.

>>33 Dividend Stocks Increasing Payouts

At Wendy's restaurants, comparable same-store sales, or sales at stores open at least one year -- a closely watched metric in the restaurant industry -- fell 1.7%, with the lack of growth resulting in "sales deleverage." That deleverage, coupled with higher commodity costs, led margins to fall by 200 basis points year-over-year.

Comps fell 5.9% at Arby's restaurants. Margins fell 170 basis points, impacted by sales deleverage and higher commodity costs.
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