Wendy's Co (WEN) - Get Wendy's Company Report shares surged to an all-time high Tuesday as the restaurant chain appeared to enter the world of meme stocks even as regulators stepped-up their monitoring of potential manipulation within social media forums.
Data from the Yolosocks.live website, which tracks real-time mentions on stocks within Reddit's r/wallstreetbets chatroom, indicated that Wendy's is now the sixth-most discussed stock among users, up from a previous rank of 19, over the past 24 hours.
Wendy's, which raised its full-year profit forecast last month following a stronger-than-expected first quarter earnings and same-store-sales, is perhaps one of the few so-called meme stocks with compelling underlying fundamentals and a key activist shareholder -- Nelson Peltz's Trian Fund Management.
The restaurant group is also set to benefit from the return of workers to businesses and offices around the country, which could power sales from its higher-margin breakfast menu. The group also opened its first restaurant in the United Kingdom, featuring signature U.S. menu options, earlier this month.
Wendy's shares were marked 18% higher in mid-day trading Tuesday to change hands at $27.05 each, a move that would lift the stock's year-to-date gain to around 25%. The stock hit an all-time high of $27.47 each earlier in the session.
Other so-called meme stocks such as AMC Entertainment (AMC) - Get AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc. Class A Report and GameStop (GME) - Get GameStop Corp. Class A Report were also on the rise Tuesday despite a statement from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday that vowed to "protect retail investors if violations of federal securities laws are found."
"SEC staff continues to monitor the market in light of the ongoing volatility in certain stocks to determine if there have been any disruptions of the market, manipulative trading, or other misconduct," the watchdog said.