Wendy’s Bumps Up Dividend By 29%; Street Sees 21% Upside

The Wendy’s Co. announced a 29% hike in its quarterly dividend to $0.09 per share. The fast-food restaurant company said that the dividend hike would be effective with the next dividend payment.

Wendy’s (WEN) said that the new quarterly dividend will be paid on March 15 to shareholders of record as of March 5. Moreover, the company disclosed that its outstanding share count stood at 223.9 million as of Feb. 19.

Its annual dividend of $0.36 per share now reflects a dividend yield of 1.8%.

The company’s CEO Todd Penegor said, “Our strong liquidity position, along with the momentum we are seeing in our business, supports this increase while still allowing us to invest in accelerated growth which remains our number one priority.” (See Wendy’s stock analysis on TipRanks)

On Jan. 19, Goldman Sachs analyst Jared Garber initiated coverage on Wendy’s stock with a Hold rating and a price target of $23 (14% upside potential). In a note to investors, the analyst said that large restaurant chains are better positioned to benefit from the “rapid digital transformation and independent restaurant challenges.” However, the analyst remains on the sidelines, citing potential competitive headwinds.

Overall, the Street has a cautiously optimistic outlook on the stock, with a Moderate Buy consensus rating based on 6 Holds and 3 Buys. The average analyst price target of $24.38 implies upside potential of about 21% from current levels.

However, TipRanks’ Stock Investors tool shows that investors currently have a Very Negative stance on WEN, with 19% of investors reducing their exposure to WEN stock.

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