TEL AVIV (MarketWatch) -- Dunkin' Brands Group Inc., DNKN the Canton, Mass., parent of Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins ice-cream stores, reported that fourth-quarter net income tripled on 4% lower revenue, and it lifted its quarterly dividend 27%. Profit reached $34.3 million, or 32 cents a share, from $11.6 million, or 10 cents, in the year-earlier quarter. The latest adjusted earnings were 34 cents a share. Revenue slipped to $161.7 million from $168.5 million. A survey of analysts by FactSet produced consensus estimates of profit of 33 cents a share on revenue of $170.7 million. For the quarter, U.S. comparable-store sales were up 3.2% at Dunkin' Donuts and 1.5% at Baskin-Robbins. For both chains, overseas comparable-store sales were flat. For 2013, Dunkin estimates that it will earn an adjusted $1.48 to $1.51 a share, up as much as 18% from 2012. FactSet's survey is looking for $1.52. Dunkin' Brands expects 2013 U.S. same store sales up 3% to 4% at Dunkin' Donuts and 1% to 3% at Baskin-Robbins. Separately, the board lifted the quarterly dividend to 19 cents a share from 15 cents, payable Feb. 20 to holders of record Feb. 11.
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