Restaurant Brands International Inc. (NYSE:QSR) (TSE:QSR) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday.

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 both the Tim Hortons and Burger King brands across the world. The acquisition of Popeye’s also bodes well as it adds a solid brand to its portfolio, which should further ramp up unit growth and aid in reducing costs. Moving ahead, the company aims to continue focusing on guest satisfaction and franchisee profitability, which it believes will drive long-term growth of brands. 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 brokerages have also issued reports on QSR. BMO Capital Markets boosted their price target on Restaurant Brands International from $63.00 to $66.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Thursday, August 3rd. Bank of America Corporation reiterated a “neutral” rating and issued a $62.00 price target on shares of Restaurant Brands International in a report on Monday, August 14th. UBS AG upgraded Restaurant Brands International from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a report on Wednesday, June 14th. BidaskClub upgraded Restaurant Brands International from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, June 21st. Finally, Nomura started coverage on Restaurant Brands International in a report on Wednesday, July 12th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $73.00 price target for the company. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $65.69.

Shares of Restaurant Brands International (NYSE:QSR) traded down 0.02% on Thursday, hitting $63.19. The stock had a trading volume of 921,908 shares. Restaurant Brands International has a 52-week low of $42.35 and a 52-week high of $64.97. The company has a 50-day moving average of $61.18 and a 200-day moving average of $59.05. The company has a market cap of $14.93 billion, a P/E ratio of 44.22 and a beta of 1.77.

Restaurant Brands International (NYSE:QSR) (TSE:QSR) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 2nd. The restaurant operator reported $0.51 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates 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 return on equity of 22.71% and a net margin of 12.66%. Restaurant Brands International’s quarterly revenue was up 8.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.41 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Restaurant Brands International will post $1.89 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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

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In other news, EVP Jose E. Cil sold 105,540 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, June 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $59.86, for a total transaction of $6,317,624.40. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 58,644 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,510,429.84. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Ali Hedayat purchased 5,000 shares of Restaurant Brands International stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 4th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $61.32 per share, for a total transaction of $306,600.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now 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 4.20% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Stratos Wealth Partners LTD. increased its position in shares of Restaurant Brands International by 0.5% during the second quarter. Stratos Wealth Partners LTD. now owns 4,483 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $280,000 after purchasing an additional 23 shares in the last quarter. Ironwood Investment Management LLC increased its position in shares of Restaurant Brands International by 0.6% during the second quarter. Ironwood Investment Management LLC now owns 7,970 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $498,000 after purchasing an additional 46 shares in the last quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA increased its position in shares of Restaurant Brands International by 10.2% during the second quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 2,165 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $135,000 after purchasing an additional 200 shares in the last quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia increased its position in shares of Restaurant Brands International by 9.0% during the second quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia now owns 3,167 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $197,000 after purchasing an additional 261 shares in the last quarter. Finally, PNC Financial Services Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Restaurant Brands International by 10.5% during 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. 76.68% 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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Analyst Recommendations for Restaurant Brands International (NYSE:QSR)

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