For Krispy Kreme and Dunkin' Donuts, Sweet Financial News

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. Faces Shareholder Lawsuits
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The two leading doughnut shops -- Krispy Kreme (KKD) and Dunkin' Donuts parent Dunkin' Brands (DNKN) -- are serving up some pretty sweet results to investors these days.

On Wednesday afternoon Krispy Kreme wrapped up the fiscal year that ended on Feb. 2 in fine fashion. Revenue rose 3.3 percent to $112.7 million when pitted against the comparable 13-week period a year earlier. Company-owned same store sales rose 1.6 percent, which is even more impressive in light of the cruel winter that sent many quick-service chains into negative territory. Franchisee-owned domestic locations fared even better with comps climbing 6.2 percent for the holiday quarter.

One could argue that it was Krispy Kreme's coffee and not necessarily its iconic doughnuts that kept customers coming when weather started getting nasty. It adds up to an impressive streak -- 21 consecutive quarters of positive comps. Krispy Kreme's performance gets even better as we work our way down the bottom line with operating income up 27 percent and adjusted earnings soaring 37 percent to $8.3 million or 12 cents a share.

The "Hot Doughnuts Now" sign that Krispy Kreme shops light up when glazed doughnuts are rolling out apparently applies to company financials. However, it could have competition for the crown of the hottest doughnut maker.

Dunkin' Brands reports on a different fiscal calendar, but last month it served up impressive quarterly results for the holiday period ending in December. Revenue climbed 13.3 percent, fueled by brisk expansion and a 3.5 percent uptick in stateside comps. Dunkin' came through with a 27 percent spike in adjusted earnings per share.

There's Enough Room for More Than One Winner

Dunkin' added 309 net new restaurants worldwide over the past year, nearly half in this country. That's worth noting since both chains saw its international stores check in with negative store-level comps. That's still a lot of new Dunkin' Donuts shops, but keep in mind that there are already more than 11,000 units worldwide. Dunkin' Brands also scoops for growth by owning the 7,300-unit Baskin-Robbins ice cream empire.

Krispy Kreme has just 800 namesake doughnut bakeries, and that would suggest broader upside. Between its own factory shops and franchisee initiatives Krispy Kreme will open just 30 to 40 new stores this year. That's a lot less than the 380 and 410 net new restaurants that Dunkin' plans to tack on this year, but for both it's an increase of roughly 5 percent.

Picking a Favorite

If you can only buy one, income investors don't have much of a choice. Dunkin' pays out a quarterly dividend that was boosted earlier this year. Krispy Kreme has yet to declare a payout in its 14-year history as a public company. However, both companies are attractive in that they have been buying back shares. In Krispy Kreme's case, that resulted in the company boosting its earnings per share outlook for fiscal 2015 that began last month.

%VIRTUAL-article-sponsoredlinks%Neither stock is cheap. As of Wednesday's close, Krispy Kreme was fetching 27 times this new fiscal year's projected earnings and a still-steep 22 times next year's profit forecast. Dunkin' Donuts is trading at slightly higher multiples. However, both companies stand out in a dicey realm of meandering quick-service chains by consistently ringing up higher sales with profitability growing even faster.

Just like one of their namesake treats, both stocks are rich, but if you can overcome the risk, guilt and calories, each one is worth sinking your teeth into at this point.

Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our newsletter services free for 30 days. ​