Restaurant Brands International Inc. (QSR) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Buy

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Restaurant Brands International Inc. (NYSE:QSR) (TSE:QSR) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Monday. The brokerage currently has $71.00 price target on the restaurant operator’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Restaurant Brands shares have widely outpaced its industry over the past year. Going forward, various sales-boosting initiatives like improving services, reimaging restaurants, menu innovation along with continued expansion should drive the top line. In fact, the company believes that there is opportunity to grow both the Tim Hortons and Burger King brands across the world. However, rising costs along with negative currency translation might dent the company’s profitability, while a soft consumer spending environment could keep comps under pressure. Nevertheless, moving ahead, the company aims to continue focusing on guest satisfaction and franchisee profitability, which it believes will drive long-term growth of brands. The acquisition of Popeye’s also bodes well as it adds a solid brand to its portfolio, which should further ramp up unit growth and aid in reducing costs”

A number of other equities research analysts have also weighed in on QSR. Piper Jaffray Companies restated an overweight rating and set a $66.00 price target on shares of Restaurant Brands International in a research note on Tuesday, June 6th. Bank of America Corporation restated a neutral rating and set a $62.00 price target (up previously from $58.00) on shares of Restaurant Brands International in a research note on Tuesday, June 13th. UBS AG upgraded Restaurant Brands International from a market perform rating to an outperform rating in a research note on Wednesday, June 14th. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. upgraded Restaurant Brands International from a market perform rating to an outperform rating and set a $70.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, June 14th. Finally, CIBC upgraded Restaurant Brands International from a market perform rating to an outperform rating and set a $70.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, June 14th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $65.56.

Shares of Restaurant Brands International (NYSE QSR) opened at 64.45 on Monday. Restaurant Brands International has a 12 month low of $42.35 and a 12 month high of $64.97. The company’s 50-day moving average is $61.35 and its 200 day moving average is $59.24. The stock has a market capitalization of $15.23 billion, a P/E ratio of 45.10 and a beta of 1.77.

Restaurant Brands International (NYSE:QSR) (TSE:QSR) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, August 2nd. The restaurant operator reported $0.51 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.45 by $0.06. Restaurant Brands International had a net margin of 12.66% and a return on equity of 22.71%. The business had revenue of $1.13 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.14 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.41 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 8.9% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts predict that Restaurant Brands International will post $1.89 earnings per share for the current year.

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Restaurant Brands International announced that its board has approved a stock buyback program on Wednesday, August 2nd that authorizes the company to repurchase $300.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the restaurant operator to reacquire up to 2.1% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are often an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 3rd. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 15th will be given a $0.20 dividend. This represents a $0.80 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.24%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 14th. This is a positive change from Restaurant Brands International’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.19. Restaurant Brands International’s dividend payout ratio is currently 55.56%.

In related news, Director Ali Hedayat acquired 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, August 4th. The shares were acquired at an average price of $61.32 per share, for a total transaction of $306,600.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 25,966 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,592,235.12. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Corporate insiders own 4.20% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Principal Financial Group Inc. boosted its position in Restaurant Brands International by 4.0% in the 1st quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 8,364,353 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $466,229,000 after purchasing an additional 321,262 shares in the last quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. raised its stake in shares of Restaurant Brands International by 17.2% during the 1st quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 477,240 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $26,601,000 after buying an additional 69,988 shares during the period. Russell Investments Group Ltd. raised its stake in shares of Restaurant Brands International by 15.4% during the 1st quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 138,985 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $7,722,000 after buying an additional 18,548 shares during the period. Creative Planning raised its stake in shares of Restaurant Brands International by 1,949.5% during the 2nd quarter. Creative Planning now owns 43,059 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $2,693,000 after buying an additional 40,958 shares during the period. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its stake in shares of Restaurant Brands International by 0.6% during the 2nd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 1,840,422 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $115,100,000 after buying an additional 10,625 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 76.64% of the company’s stock.

About Restaurant Brands International

Restaurant Brands International Inc is a quick service restaurant (QSR) company. The Company had over 20,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries and the United States territories, as of December 31, 2016. It operates through two segments: Tim Hortons (TH) and Burger King (BK). Tim Hortons restaurants are quick service restaurants with a menu that includes blend coffee, tea, espresso-based hot and cold specialty drinks, baked goods, including donuts, Timbits, bagels, muffins, cookies and pastries, grilled paninis, classic sandwiches, wraps and soups, among others.

Analyst Recommendations for Restaurant Brands International (NYSE:QSR)

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