Oppenheimer initiated coverage on shares of Wendys (NASDAQ:WEN) in a report published on Monday. The firm issued a market perform rating on the restaurant operator’s stock. Oppenheimer also issued estimates for Wendys’ Q1 2018 earnings at $0.10 EPS, Q2 2018 earnings at $0.15 EPS, Q3 2018 earnings at $0.14 EPS, Q4 2018 earnings at $0.15 EPS, FY2018 earnings at $0.54 EPS, FY2019 earnings at $0.67 EPS and FY2020 earnings at $0.82 EPS.

A number of other brokerages have also issued reports on WEN. Barclays lowered their target price on shares of Wendys from $20.00 to $19.00 and set an overweight rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, February 22nd. SunTrust Banks raised their target price on shares of Wendys to $22.00 in a research report on Wednesday, January 3rd. Wedbush upgraded shares of Wendys from a neutral rating to an outperform rating and set a $20.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, December 20th. BidaskClub lowered shares of Wendys from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 31st. Finally, Wells Fargo raised their target price on shares of Wendys from $15.50 to $16.00 and gave the stock a market perform rating in a research report on Monday, February 12th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company. Wendys presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $17.48.

Wendys stock opened at $17.18 on Monday. The company has a market cap of $4,146.66, a P/E ratio of 22.03, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.88 and a beta of 0.81. Wendys has a one year low of $13.16 and a one year high of $17.66. The company has a quick ratio of 1.77, a current ratio of 1.78 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 4.75.

Wendys (NASDAQ:WEN) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, February 21st. The restaurant operator reported $0.11 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.12 by ($0.01). The business had revenue of $309.25 million for the quarter. Wendys had a return on equity of 21.24% and a net margin of 15.86%. The company’s revenue was down .2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.08 EPS. equities research analysts anticipate that Wendys will post 0.55 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Wendys declared that its board has authorized a share repurchase plan on Thursday, February 15th that permits the company to repurchase $175.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the restaurant operator to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are generally an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, March 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, March 1st were given a $0.085 dividend. This represents a $0.34 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.98%. This is a positive change from Wendys’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.07. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, February 28th. Wendys’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 43.59%.

In other Wendys news, major shareholder Trian Partners Parallel Fund I sold 5,000,000 shares of the firm’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 sale, the insider now owns 5,409,971 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $89,264,521.50. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director Emil J. Brolick sold 540,540 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, March 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $17.14, for a total value 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 disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 26.50% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in WEN. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank lifted its holdings in Wendys by 50.1% in the fourth quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 11,248 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $185,000 after acquiring an additional 3,753 shares during the period. Boston Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Wendys in the fourth quarter valued at $199,000. First Commonwealth Financial Corp PA acquired a new stake in Wendys in the fourth quarter valued at $205,000. State of Alaska Department of Revenue acquired a new stake in Wendys in the fourth quarter valued at $220,000. Finally, Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. acquired a new stake in Wendys in the fourth quarter valued at $234,000. 80.54% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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About Wendys

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 Wendys (NASDAQ:WEN)

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