Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Wendys Co (WEN) to Hold

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Wendys Co (NASDAQ:WEN) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Wendy’s shares widely outpaced the Zacks classified Retail–Restaurants industry over the past year. The company’s Q1 2017 adjusted earnings of $0.09 topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 12.5% but declined 18.2% year over year (y/y) due to lower sales. Revenue of $285.8 million surpassed the consensus mark by 2.3% but slumped 24.6% y/y. Revenues have been declining y/y over the past few quarters because of reduced number of company-operated restaurants as a result of its system optimization initiative. Though Wendy’s transition to a franchise-based business model has been weighing on revenues, it is expected to lower the company’s general and administrative expenses, thereby boosting earnings, 2017 onwards. Yet, higher labor costs might keep profits under pressure. Nevertheless, initiatives like its Image Activation program, menu innovation and global expansion would help offset the negatives to some extent.”

A number of other research firms have also recently issued reports on WEN. Vetr cut Wendys from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating and set a $16.92 price objective on the stock. in a research report on Monday, May 8th. Stephens boosted their price objective on Wendys from $16.00 to $18.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a research report on Thursday, May 11th. Instinet restated a neutral rating and set a $15.00 price objective (up from $11.00) on shares of Wendys in a research report on Thursday, May 11th. Royal Bank of Canada boosted their price objective on Wendys from $11.00 to $15.00 and gave the company a sector perform rating in a research report on Thursday, May 11th. Finally, SunTrust Banks, Inc. set a $18.00 price objective on Wendys and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, May 11th. Twelve analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Wendys has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $14.66.

Analyst Recommendations for Wendys (NASDAQ:WEN)

Wendys (NASDAQ:WEN) opened at 15.85 on Friday. Wendys has a 52 week low of $9.15 and a 52 week high of $16.52. The company has a market capitalization of $3.90 billion, a PE ratio of 32.15 and a beta of 0.97. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $14.49 and its 200 day moving average price is $13.55.

Wendys (NASDAQ:WEN) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, May 10th. The restaurant operator reported $0.09 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.08 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $285.82 million for the quarter. Wendys had a return on equity of 16.62% and a net margin of 11.74%. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 24.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.11 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Wendys will post $0.46 EPS for the current year.

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The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 15th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, June 1st will be given a $0.07 dividend. This represents a $0.28 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.77%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, May 30th. Wendys’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 38.24%.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in WEN. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Wendys by 11,068.4% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 15,391,009 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $209,472,000 after buying an additional 15,253,200 shares during the period. Victory Capital Management Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Wendys by 81.5% in the first quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 7,825,768 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $106,509,000 after buying an additional 3,512,866 shares during the period. Mik Capital LLC bought a new stake in shares of Wendys during the third quarter worth $27,827,000. Wells Fargo & Company MN boosted its stake in shares of Wendys by 20.0% in the third quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 11,144,547 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $120,362,000 after buying an additional 1,860,404 shares during the period. Finally, Norges Bank bought a new stake in shares of Wendys during the fourth quarter worth $22,615,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 83.19% of the company’s stock.

About Wendys

The Wendy’s Company is the parent company of subsidiary holding company Wendy’s Restaurants, LLC (Wendy’s Restaurants). Wendy’s Restaurants is the parent company of Wendy’s International, LLC (Wendy’s), which is the owner and franchisor of the Wendy’s restaurant system in the United States. Wendy’s is a restaurant company specializing in the hamburger sandwich segment.

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