As reported in by Davide Dukcevivh, Wendy’s International (NYSE:WEN) raised its first quarter earnings expectations to 39 cents per share, three cents higher than its original estimate. According to the Forbes report, encouraging March sales numbers, in large part due to the introduction of the Garden Sensations salad line, made the company re-evaluate its earnings potentials.

The company’s $300 million 2002 advertising budget and the rise in same-store sales it spawned in January and February were also cited as a contributing factors to the new earnings expectations. And, earnings-per-share estimates for 2002 rose to a range of $1.85 to $1.90, compared to a previous range of $1.83 to $1.88 last year. .

“[Wendy’s] listens to the customer and invests time and money in R&D to create new products that match consumer demand,” Morgan Stanley analyst Michael Sherrick told Forbes, further noting that low advertising rates have made it possible for Wendy’s to back up its new promotions with extensive ad pushes.

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