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Papa John's International, Inc. (PZZA)
Mark Kalinowski

PZZA: A Closer Look at International Unit Growth Opportunities

With hints that Domino’s (DPZ; Buy, $513.19) long-term unit growth opportunity may be better than the Street believes, perhaps this is also a hint that the same opportunity exists for Papa John’s. In our late June report “DPZ: Could the Long-Term Unit Outlook be More than the Street Expects? | Kalinowski Equity Research,” we examined the implications of the recently-stated unit goal (1,500) for the master franchisee for Domino’s Japan. These are favorable for Domino’s,

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Restaurant Industry
Mark Kalinowski

Restaurants: BlackBox Index Shows Best Two-Year Number in Many Years, But…

Earlier today (Thursday, August 12th), we learned that the BlackBox Index of same-store sales for July 2021 — importantly, these data points are on a two-year basis — was up by +8.1%, with two-year traffic off by -3.7%. Our monthly two-year data for the BlackBox Index goes back to December 2013 — over 90 months — and this +8.1% showing is the best monthly two-year number over this time period. This +8.1% figure is about

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Wendy's (WEN)
Mark Kalinowski

WEN (Post-Call): A “Cheddar”-Than-Expected Q2 and Outlook

Earlier today, Wendy’s reported adjusted Q2 EPS of $0.27, coming in well ahead of our $0.18 forecast and sell-side consensus (according to Consensus Metrix) of $0.18. Second-quarter adjusted EBITDA amounted to $131.1 million, above our $115.9 million projection and consensus of $114.2 million. Closely-watched U.S. same-store sales rose by +16.1% in Q2, above our +14.5% estimate and consensus of +14.1%. We calculate that on a two-year basis, Wendy’s Q2 same-store sales increased by +11.7% —

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Restaurant Industry
Mark Kalinowski

Quick-Service/Fast-Casual: 2-Year Average Check Gains Remain Elevated in July

July 2021 was the fourth full month in the U.S. to lap a year-ago month that was affected by the pandemic and related issues. How is average check changing in the U.S. quick-service and fast-casual segments given these recent dynamics? Our bottom line: average check is holding in better than expected for fast-casual and quick-service (and particularly so for the quick-service burger segment). To the extent two-year trends in average check don’t deteriorate all that

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Dine Brands Global (DIN)
Mark Kalinowski

DIN (Post-Call): Higher G&A Expenses Now Expected for 2021

Earlier today, Dine Brands reported Q2 adjusted EPS of $1.94, well above our $1.65 forecast and sell-side consensus (according to Consensus Metrix) of $1.69. Adjusted EBITDA in Q2 came to $71.7 million, surpassing consensus of $67.0 million. Applebee’s same-store sales rose by +102.2% in Q2 on a one-year basis. On a two-year basis, the number was +10.5%, which was slightly above our +10.0% projection. Management points out that “Relative to 2019, Applebee’s posted its best

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Papa John's International, Inc. (PZZA)
Mark Kalinowski

PZZA (Post-Call): Two-Year Same-Store Sales Expands by +35% in Q2

Earlier today, Papa John’s reported Q2 adjusted EPS of $0.93. This was well above our $0.72 forecast and sell-side consensus (according to Consensus Metrix) of $0.73 (which had risen in recent days). Closely-watched North American same-store sales rose by +5.2% in Q2, successfully lapping the year-ago quarter’s massive +28.0% gain. This should give investors comfort that as Papa John’s laps double-digit numbers from Q3 2020, Q4 2020, and Q1 2021, and can do so successfully. FYI, we

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