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Wendy's North America same-restaurant sales miss estimates

(Reuters) – Wendy’s Co (WEN.O) missed Wall Street expectations for quarterly sales at its established outlets in North America on Tuesday, as the burger chain struggled to lure diners in a fiercely competitive U.S. fast-food industry.

The company’s shares fell 3 percent to $16.50 in after-market trading. They have gained 4 percent this year.

As consumers shift spending toward healthier food on the go, chains like Wendy’s and McDonald’s (MCD.N) are relying more on cheap options to keep people coming into stores and drive sales.

To attract people looking for cheap eats, Wendy’s has launched a slew of promotions including “4 for $4”, discounted Baconator Fries and a 50-cent Frosty dessert that compete with bundled meals offered by McDonald’s $1, $2, $3 menu and Taco bell’s dollar menu.

The company’s same-restaurant sales in North America fell 0.2 percent in the quarter. Analysts on average were expecting same-store sales to rise 1.84 percent, according to IBES data by Refinitiv.

Net income rose to $391.2 million, or $1.60 per share, in the third quarter, from $13.7 million, or 5 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding certain items, the company earned 17 cents per share, beating analysts’ average estimate of 15 cents per share.

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