Dunkin’ Brands held its Q4 and year-end 2019 earnings call yesterday reporting that store level operating results were fine, but missing 2020 Wall Street projections by approximately ten cents per share. Consequently, the stock closed at $75.03, down $2.13 (2.84%). Dunkin’ pointed to its co-investment of $60 million (with franchisees) in coffee brewing equipment as a major factor. Dunkin’ went on to note several brand management positives including the planned termination of the Speedway relationship and the closing of about 450 oil and gas unit storefronts. Those low-volume units do not present a good appearance and will ultimately open up sales potential for franchisees in surrounding areas. CEO Dave Hoffmann underscored that the goal was quality of unit openings rather than quantity. US same store sales were +2.8%, but he acknowledged that traffic was still negative (but the most improved in the past five years), meaning that average ticket was up significantly. He also credited the addition of plant-based offerings and espresso drinks (now 10% of sales) as having a positive impact on ticket. Newly appointed President Scott Murphy acknowledged remodel costs were high, but coming down slowly over time. Further, although he did not answer direct remodel cost questions nor those on the sales lift, he advised that from the 100 or so stores in their sample, the sales lift and cash on cash return was better than expected and franchisees were excited after their first and second remodel experiences. Finally, CFO Kate Jaspon indicated the current thinking is that the $60M on equipment would be the last company co-investment for NextGen, as the system would be set up properly.