Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Wendy’s Company (The) (NASDAQ:WEN) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report published on Thursday morning.

According to Zacks, “Wendy’s revenues have been declining year over year over the past few quarters. The downside reflects a reduction in the number of company-operated restaurants. Though transition to a franchise-based business model is expected to lower Wendy’s general and administrative expenses and in turn boost earnings, 2017 onwards, it has been weighing on revenues in the near term. Nonetheless, various sales and technology initiatives along with international expansion of units are expected to drive growth. Meanwhile, Wendy’s shares have outperformed the industry over the past three months. However, earnings estimates for the current quarter and year have declined over the past two months, reflecting analysts’ pessimism about the stock’s prospects. Rising costs, incremental capital spending along with a soft industry backdrop add to the concerns.”

A number of other brokerages have also recently commented on WEN. Longbow Research upgraded Wendy’s Company (The) from a neutral rating to a buy rating and increased their target price for the company from $15.23 to $18.00 in a report on Friday, September 15th. Sanford C. Bernstein restated a market perform rating and set a $16.00 price objective on shares of Wendy’s Company (The) in a report on Tuesday, July 25th. UBS AG restated a sell rating and set a $13.00 price objective (up previously from $12.00) on shares of Wendy’s Company (The) in a report on Thursday, August 10th. Stifel Nicolaus started coverage on Wendy’s Company (The) in a report on Monday. They set a buy rating and a $18.00 price objective on the stock. Finally, BidaskClub cut Wendy’s Company (The) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Monday, August 14th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $16.05.

Shares of Wendy’s Company (NASDAQ WEN) traded up 0.64% during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $15.73. The stock had a trading volume of 1,776,057 shares. Wendy’s Company has a 52-week low of $10.51 and a 52-week high of $16.66. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $15.10 and a 200-day moving average price of $15.11. The company has a market cap of $3.83 billion, a PE ratio of 40.86 and a beta of 0.99.

Wendy’s Company (The) (NASDAQ:WEN) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, August 9th. The restaurant operator reported $0.15 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.13 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $320.34 million for the quarter. Wendy’s Company (The) had a return on equity of 19.67% and a net margin of 7.68%. Wendy’s Company (The)’s quarterly revenue was down 16.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.10 EPS. On average, equities analysts expect that Wendy’s Company will post $0.47 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 15th. Investors of record on Friday, September 1st were given a $0.07 dividend. This represents a $0.28 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.78%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, August 30th. Wendy’s Company (The)’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 75.68%.

In related news, insider E.J. Wunsch sold 3,548 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, October 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $15.43, for a total value of $54,745.64. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Company insiders own 26.50% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in WEN. WFG Advisors LP raised its position in Wendy’s Company (The) by 50.2% in the second quarter. WFG Advisors LP now owns 7,017 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $109,000 after purchasing an additional 2,344 shares during the period. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank raised its position in Wendy’s Company (The) by 10.2% in the second quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 7,495 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $116,000 after purchasing an additional 692 shares during the period. Riverhead Capital Management LLC raised its position in Wendy’s Company (The) by 75.7% in the second quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC now owns 9,312 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $144,000 after purchasing an additional 4,012 shares during the period. Sigma Planning Corp raised its position in Wendy’s Company (The) by 0.5% in the second quarter. Sigma Planning Corp now owns 11,222 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $174,000 after purchasing an additional 51 shares during the period. Finally, Dynamic Technology Lab Private Ltd purchased a new position in Wendy’s Company (The) in the first quarter valued at about $178,000. 76.50% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Wendy’s Company (The) 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.

Analyst Recommendations for Wendy`s Company (The) (NASDAQ:WEN)

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