Wendys Co (WEN) Sees Large Increase in Short Interest

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Wendys Co (NASDAQ:WEN) saw a significant increase in short interest in May. As of May 31st, there was short interest totalling 23,707,255 shares, an increase of 11.3% from the May 15th total of 21,309,507 shares. Currently, 10.7% of the shares of the stock are sold short. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 2,751,760 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 8.6 days.

In other news, Director Matthew H. Peltz sold 725,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, May 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $16.41, for a total transaction of $11,897,250.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 33,281 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $546,141.21. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Nelson Peltz sold 2,405,292 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $16.43, for a total transaction of $39,518,947.56. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 9,893,461 shares in the company, valued at $162,549,564.23. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 3,894,292 shares of company stock valued at $64,045,118. Company insiders own 23.10% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Principal Financial Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of Wendys by 5.2% during the first quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 786,597 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $13,805,000 after purchasing an additional 38,697 shares in the last quarter. WINTON GROUP Ltd bought a new position in shares of Wendys during the first quarter worth $1,316,000. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB boosted its position in shares of Wendys by 40.7% during the first quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB now owns 27,657 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $485,000 after purchasing an additional 8,000 shares in the last quarter. Royal Bank of Canada boosted its position in shares of Wendys by 20.6% during the first quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 42,357 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $745,000 after purchasing an additional 7,245 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Highland Capital Management LP bought a new position in shares of Wendys during the first quarter worth $1,580,000. 80.65% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Several research firms have recently commented on WEN. Longbow Research raised shares of Wendys from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, March 8th. BidaskClub cut shares of Wendys from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Saturday, May 19th. Citigroup increased their price target on shares of Wendys from $17.00 to $19.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, March 5th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Wendys from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $19.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Thursday, May 10th. Finally, Wedbush reissued a “buy” rating and set a $20.00 price target on shares of Wendys in a research note on Thursday, February 22nd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $17.77.

Shares of Wendys opened at $17.61 on Friday, Marketbeat Ratings reports. Wendys has a 52-week low of $13.57 and a 52-week high of $18.01. The company has a market capitalization of $4.26 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 40.95, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.64 and a beta of 0.74. The company has a current ratio of 1.77, a quick ratio of 1.76 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 6.00.

Wendys (NASDAQ:WEN) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, May 8th. The restaurant operator reported $0.11 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.10 by $0.01. Wendys had a net margin of 14.55% and a return on equity of 23.01%. The firm had revenue of $380.56 million for the quarter. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $0.09 earnings per share. Wendys’s revenue was up 33.1% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts anticipate that Wendys will post 0.56 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, June 1st will be paid a $0.085 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, May 31st. This represents a $0.34 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.93%. Wendys’s payout ratio is presently 79.07%.

Wendys declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a share repurchase program on Thursday, February 15th that permits the company to buyback $175.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the restaurant operator to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are usually an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

Wendys Company Profile

The Wendy's Company, through its subsidiaries, operates as a quick-service restaurant company. It is involved in operating, developing, and franchising a system of quick-service restaurants specializing in hamburger sandwiches. The company's restaurants offer a range of chicken breast sandwiches, chicken nuggets, chili, French fries, baked potatoes, salads, soft drinks, desserts, and kids' meals.

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