What would Dave the founder have done?
Would he be concerned about those sickened, those hospitalized, those with acute kidney failure, those with unpaid medical bills and lost wages?
According to SeekingAlpha – poisoning people seems to not have had much of an impact on Wendy’s sales, stock price nor the market’s view of Wendy’s future – go figure:
Wedbush Securities kept Wendy’s Company (NASDAQ:WEN) slotted as one of the firm’s top picks in the consumer sector after feedback from across the restaurant chain’s system indicated little to no impact from the E. coli outbreak developments.
Analyst Nick Setyan: “Our checks with managers of stores within impacted geographies and contacts with franchisees with units in geographies impacted indicate that the E. Coli news first reported on 8/19 has had a very limited to no impact on sales trends thus far. We are hearing ‘no sales impact’ within geographies outside of the impacted areas universally.”
The read-through was positive enough that Wedbush kept its forecast for Q3 U.S. franchised same-store sales growth at 5.5% vs. 5.1% consensus and made no changes to the margin, EBITDA or EPS estimates either.
Wedbush has an Outperform rating on Wendy’s (WEN) and price target of $24.
Shares of WEN dropped 0.95% in early trading on Monday to $19.21 vs. the 52-week trading range of $15.77 to $24.48.
Well, we are filing the 6th E. coli lawsuit in this “fast moving outbreak” (according to the CDC). Perhaps those six and the dozens to follow will give Wendy’s a new perspective.