Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Restaurant Brands International Inc. (NYSE:QSR) (TSE:QSR) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report published on Thursday.

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 subject of several other research reports. BidaskClub raised shares of Restaurant Brands International from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Saturday, August 19th. Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed an overweight rating and set a $66.00 price objective on shares of Restaurant Brands International in a research note on Tuesday, June 6th. CIBC raised shares of Restaurant Brands International from a market perform rating to an outperform rating and set a $70.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Wednesday, June 14th. Bank of America Corporation reaffirmed a neutral rating and set a $62.00 price objective (up previously from $58.00) on shares of Restaurant Brands International in a research note on Tuesday, June 13th. Finally, Scotiabank upped their price objective on shares of Restaurant Brands International from $63.00 to $65.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research note on Thursday, August 3rd. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the stock. Restaurant Brands International has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $63.75.

Restaurant Brands International (QSR) opened at 61.28 on Thursday. The company has a market cap of $14.48 billion, a P/E ratio of 42.88 and a beta of 1.77. The company has a 50 day moving average of $60.85 and a 200-day moving average of $58.62. Restaurant Brands International has a one year low of $42.35 and a one year high of $62.94.

Restaurant Brands International (NYSE:QSR) (TSE:QSR) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 2nd. The restaurant operator reported $0.51 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the 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 company had revenue of $1.13 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.14 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.41 EPS. Restaurant Brands International’s revenue was up 8.9% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts expect that Restaurant Brands International will post $1.89 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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Restaurant Brands International declared that its Board of Directors has approved a stock repurchase 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 repurchase up to 2.1% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are often an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 3rd. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 15th will be issued a $0.20 dividend. This represents a $0.80 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.31%. This is a positive change from Restaurant Brands International’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.19. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 14th. Restaurant Brands International’s payout ratio is presently 52.78%.

In other news, EVP Jose E. Cil sold 1,760 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, June 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $59.75, for a total value of $105,160.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 22,855 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,365,586.25. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director Ali Hedayat acquired 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 4th. The stock was bought at an average price of $61.32 per share, for a total transaction of $306,600.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now owns 25,966 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,592,235.12. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 250,000 shares of company stock worth $14,849,219. Company insiders own 4.20% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Cetera Investment Advisers acquired a new position in shares of Restaurant Brands International in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $802,000. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC lifted its holdings in shares of Restaurant Brands International by 82.7% in the 2nd quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 3,446 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $280,000 after acquiring an additional 1,560 shares during the last quarter. Caxton Associates LP acquired a new position in shares of Restaurant Brands International in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $4,065,000. Newbrook Capital Advisors LP lifted its holdings in shares of Restaurant Brands International by 14.8% in the 2nd quarter. Newbrook Capital Advisors LP now owns 1,044,604 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $65,375,000 after acquiring an additional 134,538 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Prudential PLC lifted its holdings in shares of Restaurant Brands International by 19.4% in the 2nd quarter. Prudential PLC now owns 144,939 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $9,064,000 after acquiring an additional 23,538 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors 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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