BlackRock Inc. reduced its position in Wendys Co (NASDAQ:WEN) by 0.2% in the 4th quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 14,682,416 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock after selling 35,444 shares during the quarter. BlackRock Inc. owned approximately 6.06% of Wendys worth $241,086,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank boosted its stake in shares of Wendys by 50.1% in the 4th quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 11,248 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $185,000 after buying an additional 3,753 shares during the period. Boston Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of Wendys in the 4th quarter valued at about $199,000. State of Alaska Department of Revenue purchased a new position in shares of Wendys in the 4th quarter valued at about $220,000. Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Wendys in the 4th quarter valued at about $234,000. Finally, Budros Ruhlin & Roe Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Wendys in the 3rd quarter valued at about $253,000. 80.57% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
Several brokerages have recently issued reports on WEN. TheStreet upgraded Wendys from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a research note on Thursday, December 28th. Longbow Research cut Wendys from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $18.00 price objective for the company. in a research note on Friday, January 12th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Citigroup lifted their price objective on Wendys from $17.00 to $19.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, March 5th. BidaskClub cut Wendys from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Friday, February 16th. Finally, Argus reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $16.60 price objective (down previously from $19.00) on shares of Wendys in a research note on Wednesday, March 7th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $17.40.
Wendys (NASDAQ:WEN) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, February 21st. The restaurant operator reported $0.11 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate 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 firm’s revenue was down .2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.08 EPS. analysts forecast that Wendys Co will post 0.55 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 15th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, March 1st will be given a dividend of $0.085 per share. This is a positive change from Wendys’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.07. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, February 28th. This represents a $0.34 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.00%. Wendys’s payout ratio is 170.00%.
Wendys declared that its board has initiated a share buyback plan on Thursday, February 15th that authorizes the company to repurchase $175.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the restaurant operator to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are typically an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.
In other Wendys news, major shareholder Trian Partners Parallel Fund I sold 5,000,000 shares of Wendys stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, February 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $16.50, for a total transaction of $82,500,000.00. Following the transaction, 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 at this link. Also, Director Emil J. Brolick sold 540,540 shares of Wendys stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, March 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $17.14, for a total value of $9,264,855.60. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 1,371,835 shares in the company, valued at approximately $23,513,251.90. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 26.50% of the company’s stock.
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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.
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