Wendy's boosts dividend as breakfast menu provides lift

Wendy’s $20 million breakfast investment

The fast-food chain plans to launch breakfast nationwide in 2020.

Wendy's is boosting its quarterly dividend as the fast-food chain's bet on serving breakfast pays off despite the obstacle of a global pandemic that has disrupted normal operations.

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Worldwide sales at restaurants open at least a year grew 6.1% in the three months through September, the fastest in more than a decade, enabling the board to raise its investor payout 40% to 7 cents a share, the Dublin, Ohio-based company said Wednesday.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
WENTHE WENDY’S COMPANY22.34-0.80-3.46%

While pandemic-related disruptions hit breakfast hours the hardest of the three main fast-food restaurant mealtimes, CEO Todd Penegor said earlier this year that Wendy's was performing well in the slot and that he saw an opportunity to drive sales even higher with more ads.

Wendy's said it spent an additional $6.2 million on breakfast ad campaigns in the third quarter.

"In the third quarter we posted our highest global same-restaurant sales growth performance in over 15 years on top of outsized growth in the prior year," Penegor said in a statement.

Profit in the three months through September totaled $39.75 million, or an adjusted 17 cents per share, in-line with Wall Street estimates. Revenue rose 3.3% to $452.2 million, missing the $454.13 million that analysts surveyed by Refinitiv were expecting. The revenue miss was a result of international sales dipping 2.1% versus last year.

The company earlier this year withdrew its 2020 and long-term outlooks due to the uncertainty caused by COVID-19.

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Wendy’s shares gained 4.19% this year through Tuesday, slightly underperforming the S&P 500’s 4.28% gain.

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