Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Restaurant Brands International Inc. (NYSE:QSR) (TSE:QSR) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors 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 reports. Credit Suisse Group upgraded Restaurant Brands International from a neutral rating to an outperform rating and raised their price target for the stock from $60.00 to $74.00 in a research report on Thursday, September 7th. BMO Capital Markets raised their price target on Restaurant Brands International from $63.00 to $66.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a research report on Thursday, August 3rd. UBS AG set a $68.00 price target on Restaurant Brands International and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 22nd. Royal Bank Of Canada restated a buy rating and set a $69.00 price target on shares of Restaurant Brands International in a research report on Monday, September 11th. Finally, Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. upgraded Restaurant Brands International from a market perform rating to an outperform rating and set a $70.00 price target for the company in a research report on Wednesday, June 14th. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have given a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $65.69.

Shares of Restaurant Brands International (NYSE:QSR) opened at 63.02 on Thursday. The company has a market capitalization of $14.89 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 44.10 and a beta of 1.77. Restaurant Brands International has a 12 month low of $42.35 and a 12 month high of $64.97. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $61.23 and its 200-day moving average price is $59.10.

Restaurant Brands International (NYSE:QSR) (TSE:QSR) last released its quarterly 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. Restaurant Brands International had a return on equity of 22.71% and a net margin of 12.66%. The business had revenue of $1.13 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.14 billion. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.41 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 8.9% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts expect that Restaurant Brands International will post $1.89 EPS for the current year.

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Restaurant Brands International announced that its board has authorized a share buyback plan on Wednesday, August 2nd that allows the company to repurchase $300.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the restaurant operator to purchase up to 2.1% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are usually an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 3rd. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 15th will be paid a $0.20 dividend. This is a boost from Restaurant Brands International’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.19. This represents a $0.80 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.27%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 14th. Restaurant Brands International’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 55.56%.

In other Restaurant Brands International news, Director Ali Hedayat purchased 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, August 4th. The shares were bought at an average cost of $61.32 per share, for a total transaction of $306,600.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now directly owns 25,966 shares in the company, valued at $1,592,235.12. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. 4.20% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. FMR LLC raised its stake in Restaurant Brands International by 10.9% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 15,492,590 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $969,362,000 after buying an additional 1,528,447 shares in the last quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. raised its stake in Restaurant Brands International by 1.0% in the second quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 8,445,609 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $528,188,000 after buying an additional 81,256 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in Restaurant Brands International by 5.7% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 4,987,402 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $311,912,000 after buying an additional 268,220 shares in the last quarter. Valinor Management L.P. raised its stake in Restaurant Brands International by 7.8% in the first quarter. Valinor Management L.P. now owns 3,752,166 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $209,145,000 after buying an additional 270,071 shares in the last quarter. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its stake in Restaurant Brands International by 0.6% in the second quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 1,840,422 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $115,100,000 after buying an additional 10,625 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors 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.

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