Restaurant Brands International Inc (NYSE:QSR) (TSE:QSR) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Restaurant Brands posted better-than-expected results in the first quarter of 2017, wherein the top line and the bottom line outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate. This also marked the eighth consecutive quarterly earnings beat for the company. However, comps at both the brands declined 0.1%. Meanwhile, Restaurant Brands’ shares outperformed the Zacks categorized Retail–Restaurants industry over the past one year. Going forward, various comps-boosting initiatives along with continued expansion should drive the top line. The company aims to focus consistently on guest satisfaction and franchisee profitability, which it believes will drive long-term growth. Yet, rising labor costs along with negative currency translation might dent the company’s profitability, while a soft consumer spending environment could keep comps under pressure.”

Several other equities research analysts have also commented on QSR. OTR Global restated a “positive” rating on shares of Restaurant Brands International in a report on Tuesday, April 11th. Scotiabank restated an “outperform” rating and issued a $65.00 price target on shares of Restaurant Brands International in a report on Tuesday, April 25th. Credit Suisse Group AG boosted their price target on shares of Restaurant Brands International from $53.00 to $53.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Tuesday, February 14th. Piper Jaffray Companies boosted their price target on shares of Restaurant Brands International from $52.00 to $56.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Tuesday, February 14th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada boosted their price target on shares of Restaurant Brands International from $54.00 to $59.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Tuesday, February 14th. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $55.18.

Analyst Recommendations for Restaurant Brands International (NYSE:QSR)

Restaurant Brands International (NYSE:QSR) opened at 59.13 on Friday. The company’s 50 day moving average is $57.25 and its 200 day moving average is $51.87. The stock has a market cap of $13.93 billion, a PE ratio of 40.98 and a beta of 1.75. Restaurant Brands International has a 12 month low of $39.28 and a 12 month high of $60.11.

Restaurant Brands International (NYSE:QSR) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, April 26th. The restaurant operator reported $0.36 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.35 by $0.01. Restaurant Brands International had a net margin of 13.22% and a return on equity of 21.52%. The company had revenue of $1 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $989.16 million. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.30 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.9% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts anticipate that Restaurant Brands International will post $1.85 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, July 6th. Shareholders of record on Monday, May 15th will be given a dividend of $0.19 per share. This represents a $0.76 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.29%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, May 11th. This is an increase from Restaurant Brands International’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.18. Restaurant Brands International’s payout ratio is currently 46.90%.

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In other news, Director Damme Alexandre Van sold 141,105 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, March 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.29, for a total value of $7,660,590.45. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 160,587 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $8,718,268.23. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 4.20% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in QSR. Geode Capital Management LLC increased its stake in Restaurant Brands International by 0.8% in the first quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 8,060 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $449,000 after buying an additional 67 shares during the period. Ironwood Investment Management LLC increased its stake in Restaurant Brands International by 1.2% in the first quarter. Ironwood Investment Management LLC now owns 7,924 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $442,000 after buying an additional 93 shares during the period. Creative Planning increased its stake in Restaurant Brands International by 5.4% in the first quarter. Creative Planning now owns 2,101 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $117,000 after buying an additional 108 shares during the period. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. increased its stake 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 valued at $179,000 after buying an additional 306 shares during the period. Finally, IFP Advisors Inc increased its stake in Restaurant Brands International by 21.9% in the first quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 1,817 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $101,000 after buying an additional 327 shares during the period. 72.78% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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