Domino's shares tumble on lower-than-expected sales growth

Domino's shares tumble on lower-than-expected sales growth Photo: AP

February 21, 2019 11:21 AM

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Domino's Pizza shares tumbled Thursday after the company's same-store sales growth fell short of expectations in the U.S. and abroad.

Ann Arbor-based Domino's said sales at established U.S. stores grew 5.6 percent in the fourth quarter, its 31st consecutive quarter of positive same-store sales. But Wall Street was forecasting growth of 6.8 percent, according to analysts polled by FactSet.

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Same-store sales growth at international stores slowed slightly to 2.4 percent. Domino's CEO Ritch Allison said sales were strong in some key markets, including Russia and Brazil, but fell in others.

"We are still quite confident in the opportunity going forward," Allison said in a conference call with analysts and investors.

Domino's shares fell nearly 10 percent to $251.50 in morning trading.

Allison said the company was happy with its results overall. He noted that Domino's reported global retail sales growth of 10.6 percent in 2018, which is within the 8 to 12 percent range it targeted in its five-year outlook. Allison also said sales were driven by increased traffic to its stores.

Domino's closed 2018 with 15,914 stores worldwide.

Domino's also fell short of profit and revenue targets. Net income rose 20 percent to $112 million in the October-December period. Domino's said gains from a lower tax rate were partially offset by supply chain and technology investments and increased labor costs.

The earnings, of $2.62 per share, fell short of analysts' forecast of $2.69.

Fourth-quarter revenue rose 21 percent to $1.08 billion, just shy of forecasts.

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Credits

By DEE-ANN DURBIN

(Copyright 2019 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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