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Popeyes Chicken Sandwich Leads to Earnings Beat for Restaurant Brands

The Popeyes brand has system-wide sales growth of more than 42% in the quarter.
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Shares of service restaurant operator Restaurant Brands International  (QSR) - Get Free Report were rising in trading Monday after the company reported fourth-quarter earnings ahead of analysts' estimates led by Popeyes and the popularity of its chicken sandwich.

The Toronto-based company reported adjusted earnings of 75 cents a share on a 6.8% revenue increase to $1.48 billion. Analysts were expecting the company to report earnings of 73 cents a share on revenue of $1.47 billion.

Popeyes enjoyed success thanks to its popular chicken sandwich while Burger King delivered its strongest year of restaurant growth in the last two decades. The company's  Tim Hortons brand did not perform up to expectations in the quarter, according to CEO Jose Cil.

The company reported system-wide sales growth of 8.3%, while its Popeyes brand reported system-wide sales growth of more than 42% in the quarter.

“Popeyes launched an iconic Chicken Sandwich that has proven to be a game changer for the brand in every way. At Tim Hortons, our performance did not reflect the incredible power of our brand and it is clear that we have a large opportunity to refocus on our founding values and what has made us famous with our guests over the years,” Cil said.

Separately, the company’s board boosted the dividend to 52 cents  share.

Shares of Restaurant Brands have risen only 2% over the past 12 months, though the stock has experienced a slight bounce over the past few sessions ahead of the earnings release Monday. 

Restaurant Brands shares were up 1.45% to $64.79.