A day after rolling out spiced up Wendy's fries, the fast-food chain operator of both Wendy's and Arby's on Friday posted a small quarterly loss on weaker-than-expected sales and warned 2010 results would finish at the lower end of its previous forecast.
Wendy's/Arby's Group Inc, the No. 3 U.S. fast-food chain whose shares fell 5.4 percent in premarket trading, reported a third-quarter net loss of $900,000, or break-even on a per-share basis, compared with a net profit of $14.69 million, or 3 cents per share, a year earlier.
The quarter included net after-tax special charges of 5 cents a share.
Revenue fell 4.7 percent to $861.2 million, short of the $882.6 million analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S had expected.Wendy's/Arby's expects 2010 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization to be at the lower end of it previous forecast for a decline of 3 percent to 5 percent.
[In its first redesign of its fries in 41 years, Wendy's is keeping the skin on and adding sea salt, the company said in a release. The natural cut fries debuted nationwide Nov. 11 and are expected to be in all Wendy's restaurants by the end of next week.]