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Here's What Wendy's Franchisees Told Longbow Analysts About The Breakfast Rollout

Jayson Derrick

Wendys Co (NASDAQ: WEN) announced this week a major push into breakfast and the corresponding stock reaction to the downside appears to be "unwarranted," according to Longbow.

The Analyst

Longbow Research analyst Alton Stump maintains a Buy rating on Wendy's stock with an unchanged $25 price target.

The Thesis

Stump's conversations with U.S. Wendys' franchisees focused on a combination of current performance and their thoughts on the breakfast launch. The four key takeaways from the conversations include:

  1. Spicy chicken nuggets are performing well after launching on Aug. 12 and could have contributed a 100 to 150 basis point lift in comps along with higher traffic and better average ticket size.
  2. Franchisees expressed an "admittedly surprisingly positive view" of breakfast.
  3. Franchise owners are positive on breakfast from a combination of a simple menu, notably lower food cost in terms of a percentage of sales, expectations for only a modestly higher labor related expense, and a nationwide roll out instead of regional.
  4. A multi-daypart advertising campaign will help mitigate incremental dollars spent by either corporate or franchisees next year.

Stump's interactions with franchisees makes the case for franchised same-store sales to be up 3.0% to 3.5% in the third quarter, the analyst wrote. A growth rate of 3.0% or more would be viewed favorably by investors and mark continued momentum after flattish performance in the back half of 2018.

Price Action

Shares of Wendy's were trading higher by 1% Friday at $19.88.

Related Links:

Wendy's Falls After Revising 2019 Guidance

What To Make Of Wendy's Breakfast Expansion

Latest Ratings for WEN

Date Firm Action From To
Sep 2019 Downgrades Buy Neutral
Sep 2019 Maintains Buy
Sep 2019 Maintains Market Perform

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