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Domino's Pizza 1st-quarter net income up 66 pct.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) -- Domino's Pizza said Tuesday that its first-quarter net income rose 66 percent, as the company opened new stores and had lower expenses than a year ago.

The results for the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based company beat analysts' expectations and shares rose in premarket trading.

CEO J. Patrick Doyle said Domino's is "off to a strong start this year." The company offered new products to spur sales, most recently a pan pizza that is thicker than traditional pies.

Net income for the three months ended March 24 rose to $34.4 million, or 59 cents per share. That compares with $20.7 million, or 35 cents per share last year, when the company had $6.5 million in expenses it did not incur this year.

Revenue rose 9 percent to $417.6 million from $384.6 million a year ago.

Analysts expected of 55 cents per share on revenue of $412.1 million, according to FactSet.

Sales at stores open at least one year rose 6.2 percent in the U.S. and 6.5 percent internationally. That is a key gauge of a restaurant chain's financial health, because it excludes stores that opened or closed recently.

Shares rose $2.17, or 4.1 percent, to $55.12 in premarket trading.