Shares are currently trading at around $8 per share and are down nearly 7% for the year to date, trailing McDonald's (MCD) and Yum! Brands (YUM), which have lost 4% and 8%, respectively, during the same span.
While it's not yet reflected in the stock price, Brolick has done a good job of getting Wendy's back on its feet. My problem, however, is that Wendy's has been in this perpetual restructuring mode for some time. Despite the stock's year-to-date underperformance, the shares, which are trading at a P/E of 36, are still not cheap. While this matches the valuation of rival Burger King (BKW), Wendy's is trading at a P/E that is 19 points and 9 points higher than McDonald's and Yum!, respectively. I worry investors looking for value may buy too soon. Not to mention, the results of selling its company-owned stores may not be realized as expected. Read More: How Wall Street Tobacco Deals Left States With Billions in Toxic Debt Also, even if Wendy's cash flow and operating expenses do improve as Brolick suggests, there is no guarantee that Wendy's will ever outperform. Consider, both McDonald's and Yum! have had their struggles over the past couple of quarters with declining traffic. There has been no evidence that this traffic has detoured to Wendy's.