Dunkin' says bad weather hurt profit

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NEW YORK (AP) — Dunkin' Brands on Thursday reported a lower profit for its first quarter, citing severe weather for dampening its U.S. sales.

Its net income and sales missed Wall Street expectations and shares fell 3 percent to $47.59 in premarket trading.

The company, which also owns ice cream chain Baskin-Robbins, nevertheless stood by its outlook for the year.

At Dunkin' Donuts stores in the U.S., which account for nearly three-quarters of the company's sales, sales edged up 1.2 percent at established locations. The company said people spent more on average per visit, in part because they traded up to pricier options. But it noted that sales growth was hampered by bad weather.

McDonald's Corp. earlier this week also cited bad weather for a 1.7 percent decline in sales in the U.S. By contrast, Chipotle reported a 13.4 percent increase at locations open least a year during the period.

Sales fell 2.4 percent at established Dunkin' Donuts stores overseas. Sales at Baskin-Robbins stores in the U.S. edged up 0.5 percent, while international locations saw a 1.4 percent increase.

For the three months ended March 29, Dunkin' earned $22.96 million, or 21 cents per share. Not including one-time items, it said earned 33 cents per share, which was still below the 36 cents per share Wall Street expected.

A year ago, it earned $23.8 million, or 22 cents per share.

Revenue rose to $171.9 million, also short of the $172.4 million analysts expected, according to FactSet.

Dunkin' Brands Group Inc. said it still expect U.S. sales at established locations to increase 3 percent to 4 percent for the year. Adjusted earnings are expected to be $1.79 to $1.83 per share.

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