Domino's Cheesy Results

Last week, I wrote about the results delivered by Papa John's (Nasdaq: PZZA  ) . This time around, we get to see what's cooking at the competition, as Domino's (NYSE: DPZ  ) reported its first-quarter results. It was an interesting quarter for the pizza-delivery specialist, which countered lower revenues with higher profits. Its U.S. comps were down, but its international comps posted continued growth.

For the first quarter, Domino's reported a profit of $262 million, or $0.39 per share. That's up 6% from last year. However, its revenues fell 6% to $347.7 million. The contradictory results were in part driven by lower food prices, as declining prices, particularly cheese, resulted in lower revenue but accordingly higher profits.

The company's revenues were also held down by a decrease in its domestic same-store sales, which were off 3.8% after last year's 11.2% gain. Domino's delivered better results in the international market, where same-store sales were 3% higher on top of last year's 8.5% increase. That set an unbelievable string of 49 consecutive quarters of positive comps growth in the international market.

Domino's continues to carry a significant amount of debt, but it maintains a healthy cash balance. It continues to put its cash to good use, repurchasing 5.6 million shares and increasing its dividend by 20%, which now sits at a healthy 1.8%.

Domino's is no doubt a strong presence in the pizza delivery business. To be sure, though, Papa John's continues to grow and push Domino's, while Pizza Hut, owned by Yum! Brands (NYSE: YUM  ) , is working to get things turned around. With a forward and trailing P/E of about 16, Domino's is valued lower than the competition. While I'd like to see it improve on its domestic results, its 11.4% EPS growth is impressive; when coupled with a fairly generous dividend payment, it looks like a tempting offer.

For more on the rising pizza battles:

Fool contributor Mike Cianciolo doesn't own shares of any company in this article.


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