Dunkin' Brands Group (
), the franchiser of Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins chains, is
known for its sweet treats. On Thursday, the company sweetened
its payout for shareholders.
The Canton, Mass.-based company raised its quarterly dividend
by 27% to 19 cents a share, up from 15 cents. Dunkin' Brands will
disperse the payout Feb. 20 to shareholders of record on Feb.
Because it only became a public company in July 2011, Dunkin'
Brands doesn't have a long history of returning cash to
shareholders through dividends. Wednesday's announcement marks
its first dividend hike since it began to pay dividends in March
"We believe that our ability to increase our dividend in our
second year as a public company reflects the confidence we have
in our business, the sustainability of our cash flow and our
commitment to enhance shareholder value," said Dunkin' Brands CFO
Paul Carbone in a news release.
At its new quarterly rate, the company will pay 76 cents cents
a share on an annual basis. This gives the stock an annualized
yield of about 2.1%. Although this is one of the lower yields
among the 18 dividend payers in the Retail-Restaurants groups,
Dunkin' Brands has a Composite Rating of 93 -- one of the highest
in the entire group.
Also Thursday, the company reported that Q4 earnings grew 13%
to 34 cents a share, topping expectations by a penny. But revenue
fell 4% to $161.7 million, missing views for $171 million. The
company said the drop in its top line was mainly due to an extra
week in 2011's fourth quarter and a one-time delay in recognizing
sales of ice cream products. That delay stemmed from shifting
some production to partnerDean Foods (
), Dunkin' said.
For all of 2012, profit jumped 51% to $1.28 a share, up from
16% growth in 2011. Dunkin' Brands sees full-year 2013 earnings
between $1.48 and $1.51 a share.
Dunkin' Brands bolted to an all-time high early Thursday, but
ended well off its session peak. The stock cleared a 33.59 buy
point from a cup-with-handle base Jan. 2 in lackluster trade. Big
volume came in five sessions later. Dunkin' is now extended past
the buying range created by that 33.59 entry.