Shares of Domino's Pizza (DPZ 2.10%) jumped 11.5% last month, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence. The pizza chain delivered mouth-watering same-store sales growth that was the envy of the restaurant industry.
Despite fears of a "restaurant recession," Domino's delivered a staggering 13% jump in same-store sales in the third quarter, making it the 22nd consecutive quarter of positive growth for its U.S. business. Domino's international operations also performed well, with same-store sales rising 6.6%, marking the 91st consecutive quarter of international comps growth. This type of strong, consistent growth is particularly appealing to investors at a time when many former industry darlings are struggling with sluggish and even declining sales.
And it's not just higher sales that Domino's is delivering; the business is also becoming more profitable as it expands. Net income rose 24.8% year over year to $47.2 million in the third quarter, and earnings per share -- boosted by Domino's share repurchases over the past year -- surged 43.3% to $0.96.
Helping to drive these strong results for Domino's is the company's expertise in digital ordering. Domino's allows its customers to place their orders through a wide range of digital platforms, including texts, Facebook Messenger, and even a "zero-click" app that quickly sends an order 10 seconds after it's launched. Together, these ordering methods have helped Domino's reach a level where more than 50% of its business comes from digital orders, compared to about 20% for the industry as a whole. That's a strong competitive advantage, as the data collected from online orders allows for more targeted advertising and customer communications that encourage repeat business.
Domino's share price has pulled back a bit so far in November, likely because now that the election has passed -- which was noted by several restaurants as a reason for their slowing traffic -- some investors may believe that more people will choose to eat out once again, which could lessen some of Domino's in-home advantages. However, if you believe, as I do, that the "stay-at-home economy" is a long-term trend with powerful drivers beyond simply an election news cycle, then Domino's shares could be worthy of your consideration, even at these elevated levels.