September 9, 2019 / 9:51 PM / 10 days ago

Wendy's sees fall in 2019 adjusted earnings

FILE PHOTO: A Wendy's Co restaurant is pictured in Monrovia, California November 4, 2015. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

(Reuters) - Wendy’s Co (WEN.O) said on Monday it expects a fall in its 2019 adjusted earnings, as it expands its breakfast offerings across its U.S. restaurants in 2020.

The burger chain now expects full-year adjusted earnings per share to be down about 3.5%-6.5%, reversing its prior expectation of 3.5%-7.0% growth.

The company expects to make a one-time upfront investment of about $20 million in 2019 and add about 20,000 new employees as it begins the nationwide launch of its breakfast menu, which is currently available in over 300 restaurants.

The menu includes Wendy’s Breakfast Baconator, Frosty-ccino, and Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit in addition to other signature items such as its Applewood smoked bacon.

The move attempts to counter increasing competition from chains such as McDonald’s Corp (MCD.N), Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O) and Burger King (QSR.TO), which have been doubling down on their breakfast offerings.

In efforts to retain customers, Wendy’s has previously tweaked its offerings with its “$5 Biggie Bag combo”, expanded its “Made to Crave” menu and added a parmesan caesar chicken salad to its offering.

Shares of the company fell as much as 9.1% in after-hours trading and are now down about 2.5% at $21.40.

Reporting by Saumya Sibi Joseph in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber

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