Nearly everyone has experienced that appetite-deflating moment when they crack open a delivered pizza box to find that they've got the wrong pie. Calling the pizzeria may prove therapeutic, but you're hungry, and getting the right one will take time.
You ultimately settle. You flick off the mushrooms and banana peppers. You rifle through the fridge for cold cuts that can pass for pepperoni. You make the most out of a bad situation, but it's rarely a good meal.
Well, this morning it was time for Domino's Pizza
Earnings fell by 55% despite a 3% top-line uptick. Chunkier debt payments, higher food costs, and a dip in domestic comps helped eat away at the company's performance. A profit of $0.17 per share is well below the $0.23 a share that analysts were expecting.
What did the pros miss? The company's recapitalization strategy leaves it saddled with large interest expense payments. There is nothing wrong with taking on a little debt, but it stings badly if you're not at the top of your game.
Domino's can brag about its impressive streak of posting positive international comps in each of the past 55 quarters, but clearly, there are problems at home.
It's not only Domino's. Papa John's
What's going on? Can it be something as simple as Subway putting its speedy Turbochef
Don't bank on that last point. Middleby
You're on your own with that pie, Domino's. My condolences to the shareholders, though. I know the feeling. The pie isn't as meaty as you expected, and all you've got are some slabs of Oscar Meyer in the frige. You wanted the substance, the zing, of pepperoni -- and you have to settle for bologna.
Hungry for more?
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz enjoys pizza from the major chains, but also from many of the mom-and-pop pizzerias around town. He does not own shares in any company mentioned in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.