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Krispy Kreme raises EPS forecast, increases share buy back

March 12 (Reuters) - Doughnut retailer and wholesaler Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc raised its full-year earnings per share forecast and said it would buy back $30 million more of its shares.

Shares of Krispy Kreme, which also reported quarterly results that missed analysts' average expectations, rose 11 percent in extended trading.

The Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based company said it now expects full-year adjusted earnings forecast of 73-79 cents per share for the year ending January 2015, up from its prior estimate of 71-76 cents per share.

Analysts on average had expected earnings of 75 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Krispy Kreme, which also distributes doughnuts to grocers, mass merchants and convenience stores, said the increased forecast reflects 2 million fewer shares outstanding as a result of its stock buy back program.

Krispy Kreme, best known for its glazed doughnuts, also said it would raise the repurchase program to $80 million from $50 million.

Net income nearly quadrupled to $14.8 million, or 21 cents per share, in the fourth quarter ended Feb. 2 from $4.0 million, or 6 cents per share, last year.

Excluding items, the company earned 12 cents per share.

Revenue increased 3.3 percent to $112.7 million, helped by a 1.6 percent rise in company same-store sales.

Analysts had expected adjusted earnings of 13 cents per share on revenue of $119.6 million.

Same-store sales grew 6.2 percent at domestic franchise stores. However, international franchises same-store sales dropped 3.4 percent.

Krispy Kreme, which operates and franchises over 800 locations around the world, said it expects total systemwide store count to increase over 10 percent in fiscal 2015.

Most of the new stores will focus on small, freestanding factory stores that will not participate in wholesale distribution to grocers, mass merchants, or convenience stores.

Krispy Kreme shares were up 9.5 percent at $21.77 in after-market trading on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Siddharth Cavale in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das)

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