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Domino’s Pizza Gets “Buy” Rating from Guggenheim as CEO Steps Down

Despite Domino’s Pizza (NYSE:DPZ) CEO Patrick Doyle stepping down from his leadership role, one firm still thinks the company has continued growth in front of it.

Guggenheim Securities has rated Domino’s Pizza a “buy” and has given the stock a price target of $305.

Matthew DiFrisco, managing director of the firm told NBC that he believes Domino’s will see continued success. He remarked on “Power Lunch” that “Personalized marketing is the key.”

“They’re combining the digital investment with value proposition and also a tremendous amount of menu innovation,” he explained. “They’ve combined that with the connectivity that digital allows them to have with their customer base.”

In Doyle’s place, current president of international business for the company, Richard Allison, has taken over as CEO.

Doyle, who had been chief for eight years, led the stock to seeing a gain of nearly 2,000% during his time in office.

BTIG analysts have said that the company’s overall market share in the pizza category had grown from 9.7% in 2010 to 16.4% in 2017.

It was in April that Domino’s reported first quarter 2018 earnings and sales that had beat estimates.

Net income totaled $88.8 million, or $2 per share. This was up from $62.5 million, or $1.26 per share, year-over-year. Revenue at $785.4 million, was up from $624.2 million last year. Analysts had been expecting earnings per share of $1.77 and revenue of $687 million.

Executive vice president and CFO Jeffrey D. Lawrence, said during the earning’s call, “In the first quarter, our positive global brand momentum continued as we once again delivered great results for our shareholders. We continued to lead the broader restaurant industry with 28 consecutive quarters of positive U.S. comparable sales and 97 consecutive quarters of positive international comps. We also continued to increase our store count at a healthy pace. Our diluted earnings per share was $2 a share, which is an increase of 59% over the prior-year quarter.”

He also said, “We are pleased to report that we opened 31 net domestic stores in the first quarter, consisting of 35 store openings and 4 closures. Our international division added 79 net new stores during Q1, comprised of 104 store openings and 25 closures. On a total company basis, we opened 110 net new stores in the first quarter and 966 net new stores over the last 12 months, clearly demonstrating the broad strength and outstanding four-wall economics our brand and franchisees enjoy globally.”

The company saw a more-than-8% increase at US locations open at least a year. Analysts had been waiting for a growth of 5.4%.

Shares (NYSE:DPZ) had skyrocketed 7% on the earnings results.

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