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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Burger King Worldwide (BKW)  reported better-than-expected third quarter results, boosting shares 4.3% in pre-market trading.

The hamburger chain, the third largest in the U.S., profited from international growth, sporting a 2.4% gain in sales in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), a 3.7% gain in Asia-Pacific, and 2.1% growth in Latin America and the Caribbean. Growth in these regions offset a 0.3% decline in the U.S. and Canada, as consumer confidence remained low and economic conditions continued to be weak.

The Miami-based company reported earnings of 23 cents a share, 2 cents higher than analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected. Revenue fell to $275.1 million, a 39.6% year-on-year decline, as the company refranchised 519 company-owned restaurants over the three months to September 30.

"Our positive momentum continued in the third quarter," said CEO Daniel Schwartz in a statement. "We grew comparable sales across all three international regions and opened 133 net new restaurants globally."

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Burger King also announced it had increased its dividend from 6 cents a share to 7 cents a share for the fourth quarter.

TheStreet Ratings team rates Burger King Worldwide as a Hold with a ratings score of C. The team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate Burger King Worldwide (BKW) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed -- some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company has favored debt over equity in the management of its balance sheet."