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Dunkin' Heats Up Halloween With Spicy Ghost Pepper Donut

Dunkin' Brands conjures up a spicy new donut, while Morgan Stanley raises its price target on the shares.

If there's something strange in your neighborhood this Halloween, it's probably Dunkin' Brands Group's  (DNKN) - Get Dunkin' Brands Group, Inc. Report latest spooky offering, the Spicy Ghost Pepper Donut.

The Canton, Mass., operator of the donut chain and Baskin-Robbins ice cream stores described the Spicy Ghost Pepper Donut as a classic ring topped with strawberry icing that features a blend of cayenne and ghost pepper. It's finished with red sanding sugar.

This ghost will be making its devilish debut on menus starting Wednesday at participating Dunkin' restaurants nationwide and will be available until December.

Dunkin plans to give this hot number a fiery introduction that will feature Sean Evans, host of Complex Networks' First We Feast series "Hot Ones." 

In an episode debuting on Oct. 19, Evans will be in the hot seat himself, so to speak, for the time in the show's history, as he challenges himself to questions while trying Dunkin's new Spicy Ghost Pepper Donut, complemented by a variety of hot sauces ranging from sweet to scalding.

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Meanwhile, analysts at Morgan Stanley raised their price target on Dunkin' Brands, to $81 a share from $70, while maintaining their equal weight rating on the stock.

Like most retailers, Dunkin' has taken a hit from the coronavirus pandemic. In a note to investors, analyst John Glass said Dunkin' Brands was "decidedly quick to recover for a chain mostly exposed to the AM/work routines and these trends have supported the stock."

Glass said that the company has shown "solid traction" on digital engagement, based on reported numbers and app-download data that he has tracked.

"We expect this to be stickier post-covid," he said, "and it validates the case for more remodeled stores which are more digital friendly. We'd expect remodels to be more of a priority once covid issues settle down and an important sales driver long term."

Dunkin' shares at last check were up 0.7% at $85.85. They have more than doubled off their 52-week low of $38.51 set in mid-March.