Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Restaurant Brands International Inc. (NYSE:QSR) (TSE:QSR) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Monday morning.

According to Zacks, “Restaurant Brands’ shares have widely outpaced its industry over the past year. Going forward, various sales-boosting initiatives like improving services, reimaging restaurants, menu innovation along with continued expansion should drive the top line. In fact, the company believes that there is opportunity to grow all three of its brands across the world. Also, the company aims to continue focusing on guest satisfaction and franchisee profitability, which it believes will drive long-term growth of brands. The company has positive record of earnings surprises in recent quarters and estimates too have been stable ahead of its third quarter earnings release. However, rising costs along with negative currency translation might dent the company’s profitability, while a soft consumer spending environment could keep comps under pressure.”

A number of other analysts have also issued reports on the stock. UBS AG set a $74.00 target price on shares of Restaurant Brands International and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Monday. Royal Bank Of Canada reissued a buy rating and set a $69.00 target price on shares of Restaurant Brands International in a research note on Monday, September 11th. Credit Suisse Group raised shares of Restaurant Brands International from a neutral rating to an outperform rating and boosted their target price for the company from $60.00 to $74.00 in a research note on Thursday, September 7th. BidaskClub raised shares of Restaurant Brands International from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Saturday, August 19th. Finally, Bank of America Corporation reissued a neutral rating and set a $62.00 target price on shares of Restaurant Brands International in a research note on Monday, August 14th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $68.60.

Restaurant Brands International (NYSE QSR) opened at 67.60 on Monday. The company has a market capitalization of $15.97 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 47.31 and a beta of 1.77. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $64.31 and a 200 day moving average of $60.89. Restaurant Brands International has a one year low of $42.35 and a one year high of $67.74.

Restaurant Brands International (NYSE:QSR) (TSE:QSR) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, August 2nd. The restaurant operator reported $0.51 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.45 by $0.06. The firm had revenue of $1.13 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.14 billion. Restaurant Brands International had a net margin of 12.66% and a return on equity of 22.71%. The business’s revenue was up 8.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.41 earnings per share. Equities research analysts predict that Restaurant Brands International will post $1.90 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, October 3rd. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 15th were issued a $0.20 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, September 14th. This is an increase from Restaurant Brands International’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.19. This represents a $0.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.18%. Restaurant Brands International’s payout ratio is currently 55.56%.

Restaurant Brands International declared that its Board of Directors has approved a share buyback program on Wednesday, August 2nd that permits the company to repurchase $300.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the restaurant operator to purchase up to 2.1% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are usually a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

In other Restaurant Brands International news, EVP Jose E. Cil sold 60,832 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $64.01, for a total value of $3,893,856.32. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 73,618 shares in the company, valued at $4,712,288.18. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Ali Hedayat bought 5,000 shares of Restaurant Brands International stock in a transaction on Friday, August 4th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $61.32 per share, with a total value of $306,600.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now directly owns 25,966 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,592,235.12. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders own 3.05% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in QSR. Ameriprise Financial Inc. raised its holdings in Restaurant Brands International by 130.1% in the first quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 20,131 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $1,122,000 after purchasing an additional 11,384 shares in the last quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC bought a new position in Restaurant Brands International in the first quarter worth about $230,000. AXA bought a new position in Restaurant Brands International in the first quarter worth about $424,000. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. raised its holdings in Restaurant Brands International by 10.5% in the first quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 3,228 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $179,000 after purchasing an additional 306 shares in the last quarter. Finally, MARSHALL WACE ASIA Ltd bought a new position in Restaurant Brands International in the first quarter worth about $1,389,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 76.43% of the company’s stock.

Restaurant Brands International Company Profile

Restaurant Brands International Inc is a quick service restaurant (QSR) company. The Company had over 20,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries and the United States territories, as of December 31, 2016. It operates through two segments: Tim Hortons (TH) and Burger King (BK). Tim Hortons restaurants are quick service restaurants with a menu that includes blend coffee, tea, espresso-based hot and cold specialty drinks, baked goods, including donuts, Timbits, bagels, muffins, cookies and pastries, grilled paninis, classic sandwiches, wraps and soups, among others.

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Analyst Recommendations for Restaurant Brands International (NYSE:QSR)

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