Guggenheim upgraded shares of Wendys (NASDAQ:WEN) from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Friday, February 16th, MarketBeat reports.
WEN has been the subject of several other reports. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a hold rating and issued a $18.00 target price on shares of Wendys in a research note on Friday, December 22nd. SunTrust Banks lifted their target price on shares of Wendys to $22.00 in a research note on Wednesday, January 3rd. Wedbush raised shares of Wendys from a neutral rating to an outperform rating and set a $20.00 target price for the company in a research note on Wednesday, December 20th. BidaskClub raised shares of Wendys from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 20th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group lowered their price objective on shares of Wendys from $15.75 to $15.00 and set a neutral rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, November 9th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the company. Wendys presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $17.40.
Wendys (NASDAQ:WEN) traded down $0.01 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $16.99. 2,270,000 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 5,120,000. The stock has a market cap of $4,110.00, a PE ratio of 84.95, a P/E/G ratio of 1.88 and a beta of 0.81. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 4.75, a current ratio of 1.78 and a quick ratio of 1.77. Wendys has a 12-month low of $13.03 and a 12-month high of $17.66.
Wendys announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a share repurchase program on Thursday, February 15th that allows the company to buyback $175.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization allows the restaurant operator to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are often an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.
The firm also recently declared 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 yield of 2.00%. This is a boost from Wendys’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.07. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, February 28th. Wendys’s dividend payout ratio is 170.00%.
In related news, Director Emil J. Brolick sold 540,540 shares of the company’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 directly owns 1,371,835 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $23,513,251.90. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, major shareholder Trian Partners Parallel Fund I sold 5,000,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, February 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $16.50, for a total transaction of $82,500,000.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 5,409,971 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $89,264,521.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 26.50% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in WEN. Victory Capital Management Inc. boosted its position in Wendys by 26.8% during the 4th quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 7,122,035 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $116,944,000 after purchasing an additional 1,507,055 shares during the period. Renaissance Technologies LLC lifted its holdings in Wendys by 70.1% in the 4th quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 2,794,882 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $45,892,000 after buying an additional 1,152,200 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC lifted its holdings in Wendys by 1,023.5% in the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 799,897 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $12,406,000 after buying an additional 728,697 shares in the last quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board lifted its holdings in Wendys by 92.4% in the 3rd quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board now owns 1,434,000 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $22,270,000 after buying an additional 688,700 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company MN lifted its holdings in 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 buying an additional 587,113 shares in the last quarter. 80.57% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
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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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