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Fly News Breaks for March 8, 2018
Mar 8, 2018 | 08:10 EDT
As previously reported, Longbow analyst Alton Stump upgraded Wendy's (WEN) to Buy from Neutral, telling investors that his conversations with U.S. Wendy's franchisees leads him to estimate that domestic franchised same-store sales are up 2%-2.5% to date in Q1. Wendy's introduction of an expanded 4 for $4 menu in early January was given credit by the franchisees for an acceleration in comparable sales, noted Stump. His most recent checks lead him to believe Wendy's has gained share at least over Sonic (SONC) and potentially other quick-service competitors, added the analyst, who has a $20 price target on Wendy's shares.
News For WEN;SONC From the Last 2 Days
Sep 25, 2018 | 12:22 EDT
Stocks opened in positive territory and saw their highs a short time after the open. The market was trying to recapture some ground it lost yesterday, but was unable to gather any upside momentum in the absence of a catalyst. As the morning progressed, and as President Trump in front of the UN General Assembly, the averages lost their steam and drifted into negative ground. Before the losses mounted, though, the averages reversed and pulled themselves back into positive ground, where they currently stand little changed. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the Case Shiller 20-city home price index rose 0.28% to 213.76 in July. The FHFA home price index rose 0.2% to 265.0 in July. Richmond Fed manufacturing index climbed 5 points to 29 in September. The Conference Board's consumer confidence index rose to 138.4 in September from a reading of 134.7 in August. COMPANY NEWS: Michael Kors (KORS) announced a definitive agreement to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Italian luxury fashion house Gianni Versace S.p.A. for a total enterprise value of approximately $2.12B. Upon the closing of the Versace acquisition, Michael Kors said it will change its name to Capri Holdings (CPRI) to reflect "the three founder-led brands in [its] global fashion luxury group"... In other M&A news, Sonic (SONC) announced an agreement to be acquired by Inspire Brands for $43.50 per share in cash in a transaction valued at approximately $2.3B, including the assumption of Sonic's net debt. Inspire is a multi-brand restaurant company whose portfolio also includes Arby's, Buffalo Wild Wings, and Rusty Taco... Shares of automakers General Motors (GM), Ford (F) and Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) were under pressure after German carmaker BMW (BMWYY) lowered its fiscal year revenue view for its Automotive segment and said it would not meet its target of achieving a flat pre-tax profit. The industry-wide shift to the new Worldwide Harmonized Light Test Procedure, or WLTP, standards in September has led to significant supply distortions in several European markets and unexpected intense competition and "significant" supply distortions in several European markets, BMW said. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was XO Group (XOXO), which jumped 26% after it signed a deal to become a privately held company and merge with WeddingWire in a transaction valued at $933M. Also higher was Ascena Retail (ASNA), which gained 12% after the parent of the Ann Taylor and Lane Bryant brands reported quarterly results. Among the notable losers was TG Therapeutics (TGTX), which dropped 36% after a safety review board said the company's UNITY-CLL trial ORR analysis can not be conducted. Also lower was CenturyLink (CTL), which fell 7.5% after reporting that CFO Sunit Patel will depart as of September 28 to join T-Mobile (TMUS) and lead the Sprint (S) merger and integration efforts. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was up 40.78, or 0.15%, to 26,602.83, the Nasdaq was up 15.97, or 0.20%, to 8,009.22, and the S&P 500 was up 2.75, or 0.09%, to 2,922.12.
Sep 25, 2018 | 11:09 EDT
Baird analyst David Tarantino said Sonic's (SONC) agreement to be acquired by Inspire Brands, which also bought Buffalo Wild Wings last year, underscores that private equity firms continue to have interest in putting money to work in the restaurant sector, which he thinks could help to put a floor on the valuations of publicly-traded restaurant stocks. Among the stocks in the sector that he covers, Tarantino views Jack in the Box (JACK), El Pollo Loco (LOCO), Chuy's (CHUY), Habit Restaurants (HABT) and Potbelly (PBPB) as among those that theoretically could attract buyout interest at their current multiples, he tells investors.
Sep 25, 2018 | 10:15 EDT
Catch up on today's top five analyst initiations with this list compiled by The Fly: 1. Wendy's (WEN) initiated with a Buy at BTIG. 2. BJ's Wholesale (BJ) initiated with a Buy at Northcoast. 3. Central Garden & Pet (CENT) initiated with a Neutral at JPMorgan. 4. International Seaways (INSW) initiated with a Buy at Stifel. 5. Welltower (WELL) initiated with an Overweight at Barclays. This list is just a portion of The Fly's analyst coverage. To see The Fly's full Street Research coverage, click here.
Sep 25, 2018 | 06:08 EDT
BTIG analyst Peter Saleh initiated Wendy's with a Buy rating and a price target of $20, citing its position as the 3rd largest hamburger concept with "diligent" execution of its "refranchising, cost savings and leverage" playbook. The analyst notes that the company has now moved forward with improving its customer experience through remodels, delivery, digital ordering and similar initiatives, and expects these efforts to yield a "consistent sales tailwind". Saleh adds that Wendy's will sustain its competitive position as it benefits from more consistency along with its "balance of sales drivers, brand enhancements, margin opportunities and capital returns".
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