DUBLIN, Ohio – Fast food restaurant chain Wendy's International Inc. (WEN) said Wednesday that Hurricane Charley (search) and other storms in the southeastern United States hurt August same-store sales, but the company reiterated guidance for the full year.
Same-store sales, or sales at stores open at least one year, are generally considered the best measure of a retailer's health.
August same-store sales at Wendy's U.S. company locations rose 2.8 percent, and sales at U.S. franchise locations were up 1.2 percent to 1.5 percent. Same-store sales at the company's Tim Hortons (search) chain in Canada rose 9.5 percent to 9.7 percent for the month.
The company said August sales at Wendy's restaurants were affected by hurricanes in the southeastern United States, which resulted in temporary store closures at about 100 restaurants. However, this impact was offset by last year's power outage around this time in the northeastern United States and Canada.
"Tim Hortons produced very strong sales in Canada and the United States," said chairman and chief executive Jack Schuessler. "Wendy's produced its all-time best sales week during August on top of positive sales a year ago."
Wendy's reiterated that it expects 2004 earnings per share to grow 13 percent to 16 percent to the range of $2.32 to $2.37, compared with $2.05 per share last year. Included in the 2004 guidance are restricted stock expenses and $500,000 lease termination costs during the third quarter, related to closing five Baja Fresh (search) restaurants. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call expect the company to post full-year earnings of $2.35 per share.