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Burger King shares rise following Q4 results

Burger King Worldwide (BKW) shares are higher this morning after the company reported better-than-expected Q4 results. For the quarter, the company reported adjusted earnings per share of 23c, against estimates for 15c, and revenue of $404.5M, against estimates for $375M. The company also reported Q4 system-wide comparable sales rose 2.7%. In the year ago period, Burger King reported EPS of 14c on revenue of $580.6M. CEO Bernardo Hees said that the company added 485 net new restaurants and increased SSS 3.2% for FY12. On the Q4 earnings conference call, Hees said that the company expects to see continued margin expansion as the global refranchising initiative is completed. The company also noted that it is estimating commodity inflation of about 3% for FY13 and food costs should peak in Q3. Burger King also said that it is "a little more focused on the value side" due to competitive pressures. Hees said sales in Europe have not been impacted by the horsemeat scandal affecting the region and that the company has been having positive sales in the U.K. in January and February. In late morning trading, Burger King rose 42c, or 2.53%, to $17.00. Year-to-date, shares are up almost 4%.