Krispy Kreme shares fall after weak sales, missed estimates

Fresh doughnuts at a Krispy Kreme in Matthews.
Fresh doughnuts at a Krispy Kreme in Matthews.

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. plunged as much as 12 percent after posting weak sales and a disappointing forecast, raising concerns about its expansion efforts.

The Winston-Salem company said on Tuesday that earnings should be 87 cents to 91 cents a share this year, excluding some items. Analysts had projected 93 cents on average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The doughnut chain’s domestic systemwide same-store sales rose 1.6 percent last quarter. That missed predictions of 2.6 percent, according to Consensus Metrix. International comparable sales, meanwhile, tumbled 7.1 percent.

Krispy Kreme has struggled to maintain growth in a market dominated by Starbucks Corp. and Dunkin’ Donuts, both of which have more locations and are able to lock in customers with loyalty programs. Krispy Kreme is promoting its coffee drinks and offering deals on doughnuts, but it’s had mixed success so far. The company also is trying to add more payment technology, an area where Starbucks has excelled.

The stock fell as low as $13.51 in New York on Wednesday, the biggest intraday drop since September. Krispy Kreme had been up 2.1 percent this year before the tumble.