Can Krispy Kreme Match Up Against Starbucks and Dunkin' Brands?

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Krispy Kreme Doughnuts will release its quarterly report on Monday, and investors are already looking forward to good news from the donut maker given that the stock's soaring to levels not seen in almost a decade. Yet with Dunkin' Brands and Starbucks also managing to raise their share prices considerably, Krispy Kreme faces the challenge of how to regain all of its former glory and produce earnings growth to go with its stock's gains.

Krispy Kreme had a huge fall from grace in the mid-2000s, when it went from being the darling of Wall Street to an almost-forgotten fad. But after having hit bottom in the depths of the financial crisis, Krispy Kreme has bounced back sharply, following in the footsteps of Starbucks and Dunkin' Brands by emphasizing broader product offerings and trying to recapture lost customers. Can Krispy Kreme keep moving forward? Let's take an early look at what's been happening with Krispy Kreme over the past quarter and what we're likely to see in its report.

Stats on Krispy Kreme

Analyst EPS Estimate


Change From Year-Ago EPS


Revenue Estimate

$114.62 million

Change From Year-Ago Revenue


Earnings Beats in Past 4 Quarters


Source: Yahoo! Finance.

What's next for Krispy Kreme and its earnings?
Analysts have gotten modestly more optimistic about Krispy Kreme earnings in recent months, keeping October-quarter estimates steady but raising their fiscal 2015 projections by a penny per share. The stock has done well, though, rising 17% since late August.

It certainly didn't come into the quarter on a positive note, with its July-quarter earnings report sending shares for a loop. Even though comparable-store sales jumped 10% at its company stores and adjusted net income rose by 17% from the year-ago quarter, investors didn't like the fact that the company's earnings per share fell short of expectations. Some shareholders were troubled by rising operating expenses from the chain, even though much of those added costs came from international expansion efforts to broaden Krispy Kreme's geographical diversity.

Yet those poor results haven't slowed down Krispy Kreme's expansion plans in the slightest. In September, the company announced a deal to open 40 stores in Moscow, and then followed up that announcement with further plans to expand into Colombia with a 25-store agreement. That's consistent with what rivals are doing, with Starbucks having gained traction in its international efforts and with Dunkin' Donuts having recently announced that it would bring 50 locations to London within the next five years.

Still, Krispy Kreme is in a much different position from Dunkin' Brands and Starbucks. With far fewer locations, Krispy Kreme is looking primarily at expanding its menu beyond its namesake donuts to encourage higher-margin beverages. Both Dunkin' Brands and Starbucks have already taken big steps in that direction, and for the most part, they're both looking at competing directly against each other and largely ignoring the smaller Krispy Kreme.

In the Krispy Kreme earnings report, watch to see how the company's expansion has gone, and look for signs that it is looking to keep costs under control. With such a high valuation, Krispy Kreme's share price is vulnerable to even the slightest disappointment in its results.

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The article Can Krispy Kreme Match Up Against Starbucks and Dunkin' Brands? originally appeared on

Fool contributor Dan Caplinger has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Starbucks. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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