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Domino's Earnings Top Estimates

Sales fall 4.4%.
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Fourth-quarter earnings rose 49% from a year ago at

Domino's Pizza

(DPZ) - Get Free Report

, boosted by the sale of investments.

Domino's earned $40.2 million, or 59 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $27 million, or 38 cents a share, a year ago. Adjusted to exclude one-time items, the company earned 45 cents a share in the quarter, beating the Thomson First Call consensus estimate by 3 cents a share.

Fourth-quarter sales fell 4.4% to $457.4 million, in part because of an extra week in the year-ago period. On a same-store basis, fourth-quarter sales rose 3.3% at domestic company-owned stores, rose 1.5% at domestic franchise stores and rose 3.8% at international stores.

"For our domestic business, it was our 12th consecutive year without a negative annual same store sales comparison. Our international business continued its string of 48 consecutive quarters of same store sales growth," the company said.

"Strong products and promotions, backed by increased advertising, resonated with our customers. Significant increases in volumes created operational challenges for us, and our operators at both Team USA and our franchised stores did a good job of responding to the challenge. And, our international team continued to make a strong contribution with extraordinary store growth and overall, produced another banner year."

Domino's raised its quarterly dividend to 12 cents from 10 cents, payable March 30 to stock of record March 15.