Shares of Restaurant Brands (QSR) were higher by 2.63%, to $58.93, on heavy trading volume Wednesday afternoon, following a rating upgrade to outperform from perform at Oppenheimer. The firm set a price target of $70 on the owner of the Burger King and Tim Horton restaurant chains.

The firm cites the company's recent acquisition of fried chicken fast food restaurant chain Popeye's for the upgrade. Oppenheimer sees the acquisition as an accretive cap-structure opportunity and believes the market undervalues the deal.

"Popeye's acquisition provides massive new growth pipeline for QSR's 22,000-unit global network. Popeye's 2,700 unit-footprint is under-penetrated yet still No. 2 global chicken player to KFC's 21,000 units. When 3G acquired BK in 2010, unit growth was only 150/year vs. 700+/year now. We expect similar enhancements to Popeye's under QSR's global franchisee roster, which could boost QSR's unit growth to ~7% (well above 2.5% franchised peers)," Oppenheimer said in a note, according to Barron's.

What's Hot on TheStreet

Amazon car dealer talk won't go away: This news continues to spread around the globe, probably sparking fear in the minds of all used-car sales people. As TheStreet noted this week, Amazon (AMZN) has reportedly taken early steps to become an online car dealership in Europe, this according to a German trade weekly called Automobilwoche. The German newspaper cites Christoph Moeller, an industry specialist, as saying he has been placed in charge of the company's European business with car makers. Amazon is said to be planning to run that business out of Luxembourg and is eyeing the U.K. as its possible first market.

U.S. names that could be at risk should Amazon eventually sell cars in the states: CarMax (KMX) , AutoNation (AN) and struggling upstart dealer Carvana (CVNA) .

Step aside Starbucks: Panera Bread (PNRA) continues to impress on so many fronts. On Tuesday, Panera Bread announced that it has exceeded $1 billion in digital sales. TheStreet reports that the "Amazonization" of fast food continues.

Starbucks (SBUX) isn't the only one who can do digital well.

Apple and cars: TheStreet dives deep into Apple's (AAPL) car ambitions. To be sure, this is a story that is only just starting to play out. Companies from Ford (F) to Uber should be closely planning for Apple's aggression in the auto space over the next five years.

About Uber: Uber's investors continue to back the embattled ride-sharing company, according to TheStreet's sources.

Starbucks and Apple are holdings in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio. Want to be alerted before Cramer buys or sells SBUX and AAPL? Learn more now.

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