Wendys (WEN) Upgraded to “Neutral” at UBS Group
UBS Group upgraded shares of Wendys (NASDAQ:WEN) from a sell rating to a neutral rating in a report published on Thursday, www.benzinga.com reports. They currently have $17.00 price target on the restaurant operator’s stock.
A number of other research analysts have also recently issued reports on WEN. Barclays lowered their price objective on Wendys from $20.00 to $19.00 and set an overweight rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, February 22nd. BidaskClub upgraded Wendys from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 20th. Wedbush reiterated a buy rating and set a $20.00 price objective on shares of Wendys in a research note on Thursday, February 22nd. Zacks Investment Research cut Wendys from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Thursday, November 9th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a hold rating and set a $16.00 price objective on shares of Wendys in a research note on Tuesday, November 7th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Wendys has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $17.36.
Shares of Wendys (NASDAQ:WEN) opened at $16.14 on Thursday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 4.75, a quick ratio of 1.77 and a current ratio of 1.78. Wendys has a 1 year low of $13.03 and a 1 year high of $17.66. The firm has a market capitalization of $3,864.15, a P/E ratio of 36.68, a P/E/G ratio of 1.94 and a beta of 0.81.
Wendys declared that its board has authorized a stock buyback program on Thursday, February 15th that allows the company to repurchase $175.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the restaurant operator to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are usually a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 15th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, March 1st will be paid a $0.085 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, February 28th. This represents a $0.34 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.11%. This is a boost from Wendys’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.07. Wendys’s payout ratio is currently 43.59%.
In other news, major shareholder Trian Partners Parallel Fund I sold 5,000,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, February 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $16.50, for a total value of $82,500,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 5,409,971 shares in the company, valued at $89,264,521.50. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 26.50% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. increased its position in Wendys by 2.9% during the third quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 695,775 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $10,806,000 after acquiring an additional 19,370 shares during the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its position in Wendys by 7.4% during the fourth quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 8,547,151 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $140,344,000 after acquiring an additional 587,113 shares during the last quarter. Jennison Associates LLC increased its position in Wendys by 1.0% during the fourth quarter. Jennison Associates LLC now owns 1,941,802 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $31,884,000 after acquiring an additional 18,756 shares during the last quarter. Fort Pitt Capital Group LLC increased its position in Wendys by 6.5% during the fourth quarter. Fort Pitt Capital Group LLC now owns 2,071,787 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $34,019,000 after acquiring an additional 125,727 shares during the last quarter. Finally, State of Alaska Department of Revenue purchased a new stake in Wendys during the fourth quarter valued at $220,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 79.47% of the company’s stock.
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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