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Which Pizza Stocks Deliver for Investors?

Check out the report cards for national chains vying for a bigger piece of the pie

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Domino’s: B

The Michigan-based chain’s aforementioned fourth-quarter earnings, which came to 64 cents per share thanks to $539.7 million in revenue, beat the Street on the top and bottom lines. Domestic same-store sales and sales outside the U.S. each gained around 5% as well, thanks in part to the new fresh-dough pan pizza launched in September. With the launch, Domino’s is going head-to-head with rival Pizza Hut — a unit of Yum Brands (NYSE:YUM) — which long has been the big gun in the $6.4 billion market.

On top of that, the company operates nearly 10,000 restaurants in 70 countries and is expecting stronger international results — particularly outside Europe. Also notable is the fact that Domino’s initiated a 20-cent quarterly dividend on Thursday, which translates into a current yield of 1.7%.

I think Domino’s is doing a lot of the right things. Its pan-pizza strategy is an early success, as was its revamped menu and special promotions for oven-baked sandwiches, pasta, stuffed cheesy bread and chicken. Technology is another edge: One-third of all Domino’s U.S. orders are digital and the company’s sophisticated information technology infrastructure can support the international market as well.

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