disclosed its 2001 financial forecast today and projected earnings that would be at least in line with analysts' expectations for the year.
For fiscal 2001, Wendy's expects earnings per share growth of 12% to 15%. The company didn't provide a bottom line estimate, but the expected growth range would imply earnings of $1.71 a share to $1.76 a share. Fourteen analysts surveyed by
First Call/Thomson Financial
estimate the company, which is based in Dublin, Ohio, will earn $1.71 a share. The company earned $1.53 in 2000.
The fast-food chain expects revenue to grow 8% to 10% from $2.24 billion in 2000. That range would translate to revenue in 2001 of $2.42 billion to $2.46 billion. Wall Street is expecting revenue of $2.44 billion.
The company expects same-store sales at
U.S. restuarants to increase 3% to 3.5%, in line with the chain's 10-year average. Wendy's projected that same-store sales at
restaurants in Canada will rise 5% to 6%.
Wendy's, which has bought back $491 million in common stock since 1998, plans to continue repurchasing shares in 2001. The company also said its corporate tax rate will decrease to 37% from 37.5% in 2000. The company expects to add 515 to 555 restaurants systemwide during the year.
Shares of Wendy's fell 44 cents, or 1.8%, to $23.89 in recent
New York Stock Exchange