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Wendy’s adjusted 3Q net income beats Street

Wendy’s is facing tough competition from chains like Chipotle with higher prices and a more upscale image.

Gene J. Puskar /Associated Press

Wendy’s is facing tough competition from chains like Chipotle with higher prices and a more upscale image.

NEW YORK — Wendy’s third-quarter loss narrowed as more customers snapped up its new Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger and Pretzel Pub Chicken sandwiches.

The results beat expectations and the company raised its guidance. However, the company expects adjusted earnings before taxes, interest, and other items to fall 10 percent in the fourth quarter, as it invests in growth initiatives.

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Fast-food companies are facing tough competition from chains such as Chipotle that have a more upscale image and the ability to charge higher prices. In response, Wendy’s Co. has been offering new items such as premium buns. On Thursday, it said it is bringing back its Bacon Portabella Melt, on a toasted brioche bun.

Chief executive Emil Brolick said the strategy is ‘‘proving to be effective’’ against traditional competitors and new rivals.

While the Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger did well during the quarter, another new product, a grilled chicken flatbread, did not do as well as expected, Brolick said.

The company’s sales rose 3.2 percent at restaurants open at least a year. For the quarter, the net loss totaled $1.9 million, or break-even per share, compared with a loss of $26.2 million last year.

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