Wendy's 4Q results mixed; wants to sell about 500 additional restaurants to franchisees



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DUBLIN, Ohio — The Wendy's Co. reported preliminary fourth-quarter results on Tuesday that were mixed, as the hamburger chain said that it is looking to sell about 500 additional restaurants to franchisees to help lower costs.

Its stock rose more than 3 percent in premarket trading.

Wendy's said that it is looking to reduce its company-operated restaurants to approximately 5 percent of the total system by the middle of 2016. Wendy's sold 237 company-operated restaurants to franchisees last year. That included 29 restaurants under the company's Canadian plan to sell about 130 restaurants by the end of 2015's second quarter.

Wendy's posted a profit of $23.3 million, or 6 cents per share, for the period ended Dec. 28. A year earlier the Dublin, Ohio-based company earned $33.1 million, or 8 cents per share.

Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs and asset impairment costs, came to 10 cents per share.

The results matched Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was also for earnings of 10 cents per share.

Wendy's posted revenue of $502 million for the quarter. Analysts expected higher revenue of $507.6 million, according to Zacks.

For the year, the company reported a profit of $121.4 million, or 32 cents per share. Adjusted profit was 34 cents per share. Annual revenue totaled $2.06 billion.

Wendy's expects 2015 adjusted earnings in a range of 33 cents to 35 cents per share. Analysts polled by FactSet predict 39 cents per share.

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Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on WEN at http://www.zacks.com/ap/WEN

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Keywords: Wendy's, Earnings Report

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