Share prices of DineEquity fell in early trading Thursday after the restaurant company announced higher earnings but lower sales for the third-quarter.

The Glendale-based company, which owns the IHOP and Applebee’s chains, reported earnings of $15.5 million, or 85 cents per share, much higher than the $7.8 million or 44 cents per share in the same period last year.

However, the company said the higher earnings were due to lower interest expenses and the elimination of dividends on its preferred stock. Revenue from restaurant operations actually fell by $71 million during the quarter. Same store sales at IHOP fell by 1.5 percent and Applebee’s same-store sales fell less than 1 percent.

“While same-restaurant sales were not what we would have liked, we are confident in the plans we have at both brands to achieve our longer-term financial objectives,” Chief Executive Julia Stewart said in a statement.

By midday DineEquity shares were selling for $42.22, a decline of $3.43 or 8 percent on the New York Stock Exchange.