Longbow Research upgraded shares of Wendys (NASDAQ:WEN) from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday, MarketBeat.com reports.
WEN has been the topic of a number of other research reports. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Wendys from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Friday, January 19th. Citigroup boosted their price target on shares of Wendys from $17.00 to $19.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Monday, March 5th. Royal Bank of Canada restated a hold rating and issued a $18.00 price target on shares of Wendys in a research report on Friday, December 22nd. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Wendys from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Thursday, November 9th. Finally, Wedbush restated a buy rating and issued a $20.00 price target on shares of Wendys in a research report on Thursday, February 22nd. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Wendys currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $17.40.
Wendys (NASDAQ:WEN) traded up $0.40 during trading hours on Thursday, reaching $17.52. 3,870,626 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 5,590,085. The company has a current ratio of 1.78, a quick ratio of 1.77 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 4.75. Wendys has a twelve month low of $13.03 and a twelve month high of $17.66. The firm has a market cap of $4,194.53, a P/E ratio of 39.82, a PEG ratio of 1.91 and a beta of 0.81.
Wendys declared that its board has initiated a share buyback plan on Thursday, February 15th that authorizes the company to buyback $175.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the restaurant operator to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are often a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, March 1st will be given a dividend of $0.085 per share. This represents a $0.34 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.94%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, February 28th. This is an increase from Wendys’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.07. Wendys’s payout ratio is presently 43.59%.
In other Wendys news, Director Emil J. Brolick sold 540,540 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, March 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $17.14, for a total transaction of $9,264,855.60. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 1,371,835 shares in the company, valued at approximately $23,513,251.90. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, 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 shares were sold at an average price of $16.50, for a total transaction of $82,500,000.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 5,409,971 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $89,264,521.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 26.50% of the stock is owned by insiders.
A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in WEN. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. grew its stake in shares of Wendys by 2.9% in the 3rd quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 695,775 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $10,806,000 after acquiring an additional 19,370 shares in the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN grew its stake in shares of Wendys by 7.4% in the 4th quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 8,547,151 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $140,344,000 after acquiring an additional 587,113 shares in the last quarter. Jennison Associates LLC grew its stake in shares of Wendys by 1.0% in the 4th quarter. Jennison Associates LLC now owns 1,941,802 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $31,884,000 after acquiring an additional 18,756 shares in the last quarter. Fort Pitt Capital Group LLC grew its stake in shares of Wendys by 6.5% in the 4th quarter. Fort Pitt Capital Group LLC now owns 2,071,787 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $34,019,000 after acquiring an additional 125,727 shares in the last quarter. Finally, State of Alaska Department of Revenue bought a new stake in shares of Wendys in the 4th quarter worth $220,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 79.47% of the company’s stock.
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Wendys Company Profile
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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