GLENDALE Calif. DineEquity Inc., parent to the IHOP and Applebee’s brands, said Tuesday that its first-quarter profit more than tripled on gains from asset sales and debt retirement, as well as a return to positive same-store sales at IHOP and margin improvement at Applebee’s. The operator or franchisor to nearly 3,400 restaurants was the latest restaurant company to beat Wall Street expectations with a focus on cost controls, and in Applebee’s case, improved — although still negative ...

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