Wendy's (WEN) served up third-quarter earnings and sales that beat analysts' forecasts on Wednesday amid a strong uptick in same-store sales and an increase in franchise royalty revenue, which was aided by more new restaurant openings.
The Dublin, Ohio-based company posted adjusted earnings before income, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $109.9 million, or 19 cents an adjusted share, vs. $107.2 million, or 17 cents, in the comparable year-ago quarter.
Analysts polled by FactSet had been expecting earnings of 15 cents a share. Sales rang in at $437.9 million, up from $400.6 million a year ago and ahead of analysts' forecasts $434.4 million. Same-store sales in North America gained 4.4%; systemwide sales rose 5.5%.
Shares of Wendy's went cold in September after the company lowered its forecast for adjusted earnings per share to a drop of between 3.5% and 6.5% in 2019, vs. per-share earnings growth of between 3.5% and 7%. The reason: A big spend on revamping its stores and getting into the breakfast game to compete with the likes of McDonalds (MCD) , Starbucks (SBUX) and others.
The company tweaked that guidance on Wednesday, saying it now expects per-share adjusted earnings of between down 1.5% and up 1.5%. It also reiterated its financial guidance, stating it expects full-year systemwide sales of between $12 billion and $12.5 billion, and adjusted EBITDA of approximately $425 million to $435 million.
"I think that Wendy's is in good shape. I really like them," Jim Cramer said in a recent "Mad Money" Lightning round. Watch here for more on why Jim thinks Wendy's stock is undervalued, and where he and the Real Money Pro team expect to see the shares go from here.
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