Restaurant Brands International Inc. (QSR) Downgraded to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Restaurant Brands International Inc. (NYSE:QSR) (TSE:QSR) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday, August 31st.

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. 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. Moving ahead, the company aims to continue focusing on guest satisfaction and franchisee profitability, which it believes will drive long-term growth of brands. 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.”

QSR has been the topic of several other research reports. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Restaurant Brands International from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Saturday, August 19th. Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated an “overweight” rating and set a $66.00 target price on shares of Restaurant Brands International in a research report on Tuesday, June 6th. CIBC upgraded shares of Restaurant Brands International from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $70.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, June 14th. Bank of America Corporation reiterated a “neutral” rating and set a $62.00 target price (up from $58.00) on shares of Restaurant Brands International in a research report on Tuesday, June 13th. Finally, Scotiabank lifted their target price on shares of Restaurant Brands International from $63.00 to $65.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 3rd. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $65.06.

Shares of Restaurant Brands International (NYSE QSR) opened at 63.10 on Thursday. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $60.91 and its 200-day moving average price is $58.83. The firm has a market cap of $14.91 billion, a PE ratio of 44.16 and a beta of 1.77. Restaurant Brands International has a 52-week low of $42.35 and a 52-week high of $64.35.

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 consensus estimate of $0.45 by $0.06. The firm had revenue of $1.13 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.14 billion. Restaurant Brands International had a net margin of 12.66% and a return on equity of 22.71%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 8.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.41 EPS. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Restaurant Brands International will post $1.89 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Restaurant Brands International announced that its Board of Directors has approved a stock buyback plan on Wednesday, August 2nd that permits the company to repurchase $300.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the restaurant operator to reacquire up to 2.1% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are usually a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

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In other news, EVP Jose E. Cil sold 105,540 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, June 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $59.86, for a total value of $6,317,624.40. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 58,644 shares in the company, valued at $3,510,429.84. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, EVP Jose E. Cil sold 142,700 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, June 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $59.05, for a total transaction of $8,426,435.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 21,684 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,280,440.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 4.20% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in QSR. FMR LLC boosted its holdings in Restaurant Brands International by 10.9% during the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 15,492,590 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $969,362,000 after purchasing an additional 1,528,447 shares during the last quarter. Fiera Capital Corp boosted its holdings in Restaurant Brands International by 481.6% during the second quarter. Fiera Capital Corp now owns 1,338,343 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $83,591,000 after purchasing an additional 1,108,231 shares during the last quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. boosted its holdings in Restaurant Brands International by 937.3% during the first quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 1,181,675 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $65,867,000 after purchasing an additional 1,067,761 shares during the last quarter. Mik Capital LLC acquired a new position in Restaurant Brands International during the second quarter worth $52,536,000. Finally, CI Global Investments Inc. boosted its holdings in Restaurant Brands International by 15,143.9% during the second quarter. CI Global Investments Inc. now owns 500,000 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $31,270,000 after purchasing an additional 496,720 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 76.68% of the company’s stock.

Restaurant Brands International Company Profile

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.

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Analyst Recommendations for Restaurant Brands International (NYSE:QSR)

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