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Dunkin' CEO: Beyond Meat sandwiches did 'exceedingly well' in NYC

Brian Sozzi

And now Dunkin’ (DNKN) can gear up for the nationwide rollout of Beyond Meat breakfast sandwiches on Nov. 6.

But first, third quarter earnings.

On Thursday, Dunkin’ delivered net sales of $355.9 million, slightly below analyst forecasts. Some on the Street zeroed in on mixed sales at Dunkin’ U.S. — same-store sales rose 1.5%, held back by persistent weakness in customer traffic. Analysts had expected Dunkin’ U.S. to notch a 1.7% same-store sales gain.

And for a bit of perspective, Starbucks (SBUX) served up a 6% quarterly same-store sales increase for its U.S. business Wednesday evening powered by demand for new cold brew coffees and food.

“Dunkin's 3Q results were largely a status quo quarter, in our view. Dunkin’ U.S. comps of 1.5% (vs Morgan Stanley estimate of 1.7%) remain modest and have yet to inflect, this compared to its largest coffee competitor which has experienced a far more remarkable recapture of momentum. Traffic remains negative in the core business,” pointed out Morgan Stanley restaurant analyst John Glass in a note to clients.

Shares still popped 6% or so probably due to the earnings beat. Dunkin’s third quarter earnings came in at 90 cents a share, beating profit forecasts of 81 cents a share.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JULY 24: Beyond Sausage Breakfast Sandwiches are served during Dunkin' and Beyond Meat unveil Beyond Sausage Breakfast Sandwich at an event hosted by DeAndre Jordan of The Brooklyn Nets at Dunkin' Donuts on July 24, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Jennifer Graylock/Getty Images for Dunkin' )

Dunkin’ Brands CEO David Hoffmann tells Yahoo Finance same-store sales “accelerated” out of the third quarter. That suggests a nice pickup in momentum just before the important holiday shopping season.

And before the arrival of hotly anticipated Beyond Meat breakfast sandwiches to 9,000 U.S. restaurants after testing in Manhattan, New York City. By all accounts, those tests have gone well — though Hoffmann cautions that it’s unclear how the sandwich performs in less urban markets where eating plants over meat may not be such a thing yet.

“The sandwich has done exceedingly well in Manhattan,” Hoffmann says.

“Manhattan isn’t a proxy for the rest of the country. We went into Manhattan not to get the most scientific market test, it was to get the buzz factor around the launch. It put us on the map in terms of democratizing this trend. So we are very excited about it,” Hoffmann adds.

The company now sees full year adjusted earnings of $3.10 a share to $3.12 a share. Previously, Dunkin’ had guided to $3.02 a share to $3.05 a share.

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and co-anchor of The First Trade at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter @BrianSozzi

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