I live in Manhattan and like any intelligent investor, I went to the company and checked it out. There is a location not far from my office on 8th Avenue and 55th Street in New York City. It was around lunch time and the place was packed, there was a line of hungry people almost out to the front door. I got on the back of the line and was pleasantly surprised how fast it moved, which enabled me to order an asiago ranch chicken sandwich and the chile-both from the value menu. They both cost about $1.29, I think. (everything costs more in NY)
You know what? Both the chile and the asiago ranch chicken sandwich were very good, especially the chile. I would definitely go back for the chile and perhaps try one of their baked potatoes with sour cream and chives. There was no question in my mind after leaving the store that Wendys offers their customers good food, at an excellent price.
In addition to the above research, my due diligence has found out, in no particular order:
1.That their last quarterly earning's report significantly beat analyst's estimates (did you know this is Zacks primary focus when evaluating stocks)
2. Their net income increased by 562.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior. (source: Streeteasy.com)
3. The company renovated 48 franchised stores in 2012 and plan to renovate 100 more in 2013 as part of an overall plan to make a good product better.
4. They have higher-quality food, at comparable prices, than both McDonald's and Burger King. Trust me, it's not even close.
5. They are in the middle of a huge promotional campaign to increase awareness of the company and their product. If you are a college basketball fan, you must have seen the voice of college basketball, Dick Vitale, in one of their commercials. Here are some others you have probably noticed.
6. projected EBITDA is between $350-$360 million in 2013 EBITDA of $333 million in 2012.
7. The shares are up 18% year to date and 35% since October.
It looks like, management is making a concerted effort to increase shareholder value. I'm in!
Disclosure: I am long WEN.