On Dec. 18th, eight insiders at The Wendy’s Co (NASDAQ:WEN) presented Form 4 filings at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. However, most of them were declaring stock awards and dividend equivalent units granted to them by the company. There was, nonetheless, one insider, Scott R. Toop, Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary, that actually reported an a stock acquisition on this date. He had purchased –on Dec. 16th– 10,000 shares at an average price of $8.49 per share, totaling a transaction of almost $85.000.
Toop now holds 49,500 shares from The Wendy’s Co (NASDAQ:WEN), valued at approximately $418,000. However, this looks like nothing, compared to other Board Director’s holdings. For example, Peter May, and Edward Garden – both Board Directors – hold 83 million shares each.
But not only insiders feel bullish about this $3.3 billion (market cap) quick-service restaurant company. Hedge funds like Murray Stahl’s Horizon Asset Management and D.E. Shaw also hold big stakes in The Wendy’s Co (NASDAQ:WEN). However, both of these funds have been reducing their positions in the lately.
There is one fund, however, that stands out: Trian Partners. This fund, managed by Nelson Peltz, who is also on the company’s board, owns 83,000,245 shares, worth more than $700 million (almost 13% of its total equity portfolio).
Back to Toop, it looks The Wendy’s Co (NASDAQ:WEN)’s Senior Vice President is betting on long-term growth. Analysts expect the company to deliver average annual EPS growth rates around 22%-23% over the next five years, compared to the industry average of 15%-16%. Despite a few missteps in the past, Wendy’s now seems poised to outperform the broader restaurant industry, and provide and upside of more than 50% over 2014 (3.4x risk-reward). The acquisition also follows the sale of certain assets by the company, which resulted in an income of about $29 million.
I should also highlight that this is not Toop’s first purchase this year. Over 2013, he increased his holdings at The Wendy’s Co (NASDAQ:WEN) five times. Having started with 10,000 shares in August, he added 39,500 shares to his portfolio in less than five months.
Disclosure: Javier Hasse holds no position in any stocks mentioned