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Author: Alan LittleDate: 2021-03-04

Wendy’s (WEN) UK return nears, but shares down 5% on Q4 misses

Fast-food chain Wendy’s Company (WEN) retreated 5% in Wednesday’s trading after coming up just short of the Wall Street consensus for both earnings and revenue in Q4. 


Wendy’s said that its net income climbed 46% year over year to $38.7m, or $0.17 per share, in the latest period, but this was a single cent short of the $0.18 FactSet estimate. 


Revenue also rose 11% to $474.3m in Q4, but the pre-report forecasts had Wendy’s pegged at a higher $477m. 


Despite the misses, chief executive Todd Penegor believes that the company is now a “stronger, more unified brand” following recent COVID-19 challenges. 


Wendy’s had to close many of its stores during the pandemic, but business remained brisk and Penegor said that “outsized growth” is on the horizon.  


During 2020, the Ohio-headquartered chain launched a new breakfast service and saw a two times uptick in digital sales. 


Penegor added that Wendy’s would now look to “significantly build our breakfast daypart, accelerate our digital business, and expand our footprint, both internationally and in the US”. 


Last month, Wendy’s announced that it is going to open new restaurantin Oxford and Reading, and is exploring more opportunities in and around London. 


Wendy’s previously operated in the UK back in the 1990s before shutting its last restaurant in 2000. 


Despite the growth plans and optimism after the near term, WEN traded down in midweek. 


Wendy’s shares went into the red after the morning bell and were 4.13% lower at $20.43 by around 1pm ET on the Nasdaq. 


During the last 12 months, Wendy’s stock has gained 5% compared to the 28% rise for the wider S&P 500.  

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