Earnings are somewhat ahead of preliminary results released last month thanks to an arcane accounting adjustment.
Company reaffirms its 2014 outlook for adjusted EBITDA of $390M-$400M, "despite the adverse impact from winter storms during the first quarter" [they have to be kidding] Adjusted EPS is still expected at $0.34-$0.36. Average same-restaurant-sales growth of 2.5-3.5% at Company-operated stores (was 1.9% in 2013). Company-operated restaurant margin improvement of 140-160 basis points.
Management expects to continue to sell certain Company-owned restaurants to franchisees. Another 415 restaurants are on schedule to be sold by the end of Q1 for total proceeds to about $235M. Agreements are inked on another 174 restaurants.
8.7M shares repurchased during 2013 at average price of $7.93 each. Pursuant to the Dutch Tender offer, 29.7M shares purchased in February at average price of $9.25 each.
Due to the January preliminary release, there will be no CC today.
WEN -3% premarket.