ANN ARBOR, Mich. ( TheStreet) -- Domino's Pizza ( DPZ) got a boost Tuesday morning after hedge fund founder Steven A. Cohen disclosed a 5.3% passive stake in the pizza purveyor. Cohen, founder of SAC Capital Advisors, a Stamford, Conn.-based hedge fund, owns 3.2 million shares of Domino's, a pizza delivery chain, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission
Domino's shares rose 1.6% to $16.82 in morning trading Tuesday, and were about 50% higher than year-earlier levels. Domino's has had its risks in recent years as customer perceptions of its food quality mounted, but its financial standing is improving. Domino's beat expectations for the third quarter , though net earnings actually declined year-over-year to $16.6 million, or 27 cents per share. Adjusted for one-time gains booked in the year-earlier period however, earnings did grow year-over-year. Comparable same-store sales -- or sales at stores open at least one year, a closely watched metric in the restaurant industry -- grew 11.7% year-over-year, thanks to continued positive consumer response to the company's new pizza recipe, launched in December of 2009.