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Dunkin' Brands (DNKN) Outruns Peers, Soars 63% in 6 Months

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Shares of Dunkin' Brands Group, Inc. have surged 62.5% in the past six months, compared with the industry’s rally of 20.1%. The company has been benefiting from robust digital sales and sales building initiatives.

Moreover, an upward revision in earnings estimates for 2020 reflects analysts’ optimism regarding the company’s growth potential. Over the past 30 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2020 earnings has moved up 3.7% to $2.80 per share. However, high debt remains a concern.

Factors Driving Growth

Dunkin' Brands ranks among the well-established global quick-service restaurant brands. As a result, it enjoys enormous customer trust and brand loyalty making it easier for the company to launch new product lines. The company’s increased focus on menu innovation, especially on premium products to offer great beverages, is likely to drive growth.

With the demand for coffee expected to keep growing, Dunkin’ Brands has been continuously adding new coffee beverages to the menu, both in the value and premium offering segment, for instance the Macchiato's line of products and the recent Cold Brew coffee.

The company is committed to building new restaurant designs. It designed a Next Generation restaurant involving technology that aims to provide a rich and faster restaurant experience, and deliver quality food and beverages. Robust sales building initiatives helped the company to report positive same-store sales in the United States for both Dunkin' and Baskin Robbins. In the past few years, the company had made smart strategic investments, both direct and indirect into the Dunkin' U.S. business.

Furthering its delivery program, Dunkin’ Brands has also expanded delivery service to Miami in partnership with DoorDash. Meanwhile, the company also partnered with Grubhub to create a Dunkin’ Brands delivery system with POS integration. During third-quarter 2020, the company’s delivery average weekly sales increased 2.5 times compared with the prior quarter. Further, the company has expanded the delivery footprint to 6,500 restaurants in the United States in collaboration with Grubhub, DoorDash and Uber Eats. Delivery is now available in more than 93% of Baskin-Robbins U.S. shops.


High debt remains a concern. At the end of Sep 26, 2020, the company’s long-term debt stood at $3 billion, almost flat with the Jun 27 level. As a result, the company’s debt-to-capitalization was 121.4%. Moreover, it ended third-quarter fiscal 2020 with cash and cash equivalent of $703 million, which may not be enough to manage the high debt level.

The coronavirus pandemic had an unfavorable impact on the company’s business, financial condition and operational results in third-quarter fiscal 2020. Although the company’s domestic footprint and high drive-thru mix position it well to weather the storm, sales remain challenged due to drop in traffic.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Dunkin' Brands has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks worth considering in the same space, include Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (CBRL - Free Report) , Darden Restaurants, Inc. (DRI - Free Report) and Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc. (FRGI - Free Report) . All these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Cracker Barrel earnings for fiscal 2021 is likely to witness growth of 152.9%.

Darden Restaurants has a three-five year earnings per share growth rate of 19.5%.

Fiesta Restaurant’s 2021 earnings are expected to soar 418.8%.

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