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Krispy Kreme's sweet time
November 21, 2000: 3:20 p.m. ET

Doughnut retailer beats fiscal 3Q estimates, boosts annual forecasts
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NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. reported higher-than-expected fiscal third-quarter earnings Tuesday, and raised its estimates for fiscal 2001 and 2002 profit.

The Winston-Salem, N.C.-based doughnut retailer said earnings for the quarter ended Oct. 29 rose to $3.8 million, or 27 cents a diluted share, from $1.9 million, or 20 cents, a year earlier. The results were 3 cents above the 24-cent analysts' consensus compiled by First Call.

Krispy Kreme said it now expects to earn $1.05 a share for the year ending Jan. 31, 4 cents more than the First Call forecast, and $1.30 a share for the year ending Jan. 31, 2002, 4 cents above the consensus.

graphicCompany revenue rose 37 percent in the third quarter to $77.9 million. Systemwide sales -- which includes company and franchised stores -- increased 37.3 percent to $112.3 million. Sales at stores open at least a year grew 15.5 percent.

"Our performance continues to be strong across all sales channels and across the country," said Scott Livengood, the company's chairman and chief executive officer. "A very focused execution of our growth strategy...has led to a quarter which exceeded our expectations."

The 63-year-old company, which went public earlier this year, increased its forecast for fourth-quarter systemwide comparable-store sales growth to 10 percent.

For the nine months ended Oct. 29, Krispy Kreme earned net income of $10.5 million, or 79 cents a share, up from $4.8 million, or 51 cents a share, a year earlier. Sales for the first nine months increased 3.4 percent to $323.3 million from $232 million a year earlier.

Krispy Kreme opened 10 new stores during the quarter in New York, California, Utah, Iowa, Texas, Arizona and Florida, bringing the total number of stores to 164.

graphicLivengood said the company is poised to forge ahead with its expansion plans, expecting to open 36 new stores in fiscal 2002. [585K WAV] or [585K AIFF]

"The thing that we try to do, and what I think our investors would want our management team to do, is make sure that we have ambitious plans, understand the opportunities that we have, and then go out and execute," Livengood said. "This is our third straight quarter of exceeding the projections and so things to the degree that I can control them or to the extent that our management team can control them are going better than what we projected."

Krispy Kreme  (KREM: Research, Estimates) shares were up 50 cents at $77.50 in late Tuesday afternoon Nasdaq trading. graphic


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