DUBLIN, Ohio — Wendy's new value menu and focus on premium burgers helped its fiscal fourth-quarter net income top Wall Street expectations, the hamburger chain said Thursday. Results show Wendy's push to position itself on the higher end of the fast-food pecking order in terms of quality seems to have gained some traction. Wendy's has also begun revamping restaurants with a modern look with causal seating areas more reminiscent of fast-casual chains such as Panera Bread Co. Wendy's net income jumped to $22.4 million, or 6 cents per share, for the three months ended Dec. 30. That's up sharply from $4 million, or 1 cent per share, a year earlier. The current quarter's results included a tax benefit, lower interest expense and a sharp rise in investment income. Removing impairment charges, facility relocation costs and other items, adjusted earnings were 8 cents per share. Revenue increased 2 percent to $629.9 million from $615 million.
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