Wendy's Co Class A WEN
Q4 2012 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 02/28/2013

Operator: Good morning. My name is Theresa and I will be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the Fourth Quarter and 2012 Earnings Conference Call. All lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise. Later, there will be a question-and-answer session. Thank you.

I would now like to turn the call over to Mr. John Barker to begin. Please go ahead, Sir.

John D. Barker - SVP and CCO: Thank you, Thank you, Theresa. Good morning, everybody. This morning, we issued our fourth quarter 2012 earnings release. We also filed our Form 10-K. Today, for this call, we'll start with comments from our President and CEO, Emil Brolick, who will provide an update on Wendy's Recipe to Win and the progress we're making on the brand and our key growth initiatives. After Emil, we'll have our Chief Financial Officer, Steve Hare, who will review our fourth quarter and 2012 financial results. Then we'll open up the line for questions.

Today's conference call and our webcast is accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation that can be found on our Investor Relations page of our corporate website, which is For those of you who are listening by your phone today, please make sure you select the appropriate webcast player option from our website, and that will make sure you can sync up the slides with the audio.

Before we begin, I'd like to refer you for just a minute to the Safe Harbor statement that is attached to today's release. Certain information that we may discuss today regarding future performance, such as financial goals, plans and development is forward-looking. Various factors could affect the Company's results and cause those results to differ materially from those expressed in our forward-looking statements. Some of those factors are referenced in the Safe Harbor statement that is attached to the news release.

Also, some of the comments today will reference non-GAAP financial measures, such as adjusted EBITDA and adjusted earnings per share. Investors should refer to our reconciliations of non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure.

With that, I'd like to turn it over to Emil.

Emil J. Brolick - President and CEO: Thank you, John. Good morning, everyone, and thank you for being on the call. I’ll start with the high-level summary of our 2012 results. As communicated in our preliminary earnings release on January 16, our 2012 fiscal year ended with a strong fourth quarter as our year-over-year adjusted EBITDA increased 19%.

From a same-store sales perspective, the fourth quarter was down 0.2%, but we were positive 4.9% on a two-year basis. We began the fourth quarter with positive same-store sales momentum successfully rolling over the launch of Dave's Hot 'N Juicy Cheeseburgers with the promotion of our Bacon Portabella Mushroom Melt.

Our sales momentum slowed in mid-November and through December as our marketing message for Mozzarella Chicken Supreme did not resonate as strongly as we’d had hope amid intense value and price competition.

Read our Earnings Call Transcript disclaimer.
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