Wendy’s stock jumps on plans for nationwide breakfast, European expansion


A drive-thru window of a Wendy’s restaurant in Peoria, Illinois.

Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Wendy’s on Friday shared more detail about its plan to launch breakfast nationwide, add new products and expand in Europe at its investor day.

It also teased its unreleased third-quarter financial results. Wendy’s CEO Todd Penegor reported North American same-store sales growth of 4.4%, helped by the return of its spicy nuggets. The company is scheduled to report its earnings Nov. 6.

Shares of the company, which has a market value of $4.6 billion, jumped 6.3% in premarket trading.

The burger chain announced its breakfast plans in September. Wendy’s plans to invest about $20 million to support its U.S. stores in preparation for the launch. The company also cut its forecast for fiscal 2019 adjusted earnings at that time, expecting a decline in a range of 3.5% to 6.5%.

The company has attempted to enter breakfast three times previously, and analysts have expressed skepticism that this time around will be different.

Wendy’s U.S. President Kurt Kane told investors that the company worked with franchisees to create the breakfast program. Menu items will include the Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit, Breakfast Baconator and the Frosty-ccino, but the chain is planning on limiting the number of breakfast items, compared to past launches.

This time around will not include any equipment expenses, which previously could cost up to $10,000.

Breakfast is not the only menu addition that Wendy’s has been exploring. Kane said that the chain is currently testing black bean burgers, which could be launched next year if it goes well.

Kane said the company is also exploring other meat alternatives. Restaurant Brands International’s Burger King has launched its plant-based Impossible Whopper nationwide, while McDonald’s is testing its own version made with Beyond Meat.

Wendy’s is also planning to expand into Europe in the next 12 to 18 months. The burger chain has tried to enter European markets over the years.

This is a breaking news story, please check back for updates.