Restaurant operator DineEquity Inc. on Tuesday reported a small increase in its third-quarter earnings as its Applebee’s and IHOP chains continue to post positive sales growth.
Overall, DineEquity reported net income of $18.6 million, up slightly from $18.4 million a year ago. Revenue edged up about 1 percent to $162.9 million.
The company, based in Glendale, Calif., also boosted its sales forecast for Applebee’s and IHOP restaurants for the year. It expects domestic same-restaurant sales at IHOP to grow 2.5 to 3.5 percent, up from 1 to 2.5 percent.
Applebee’s, based in Kansas City, expects same-restaurant sales to be flat to up 1 percent versus its previous call for a decline of 2 percent to growth of 1 percent.
DineEquity also disclosed plans to raise its quarterly dividend 17 percent to 87.5 cents a share and add $60 million to its stock buyback plan.
Since acquiring Applebee’s in 2007, DineEquity largely has boosted its results by remodeling restaurants, updating the menu and improving marketing. However, the chain’s same-restaurant sales had declined in recent quarters before posting growth in July.
The growth trend continued in the September quarter, with domestic systemwide same-restaurant sales increasing 1.7 percent at Applebee’s and 2.4 percent at IHOP.