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A comparison between wendys and mcdonalds stocks

  • They serve a different purpose than the burger upstarts do, and though they are beset by challenges—not only from those outfits, but also from fast-casual chains like Chipotle and Panera—demand for cheap, fast burgers can sink by only so much;
  • Investors have rallied behind Wendy's, pushing shares of the company up more than 80 percent in the last year;
  • The Stock Comparison page should serve as one among many informational tools for comparing stocks and should not be the only basis for a buy or sell decision.

Email Wendy's WEN was in trouble two years ago. It had just sold off its Arby's division and was struggling to find itself. Nothing had been the same since founder Dave Thomas died in 2002, and Emil Brolick, the restaurant chain's new CEO, described the company as undergoing "an identity crisis. Investors have rallied behind Wendy's, pushing shares of the company up more than 80 percent in the last year. McDonald's shares, meanwhile, are up just 7 percent.

Wendy's Company (The) Stock Comparison

For one thing, the "barbell" approach that Wendy's has long espoused seems to be working. The idea is to appeal to all customers with the one-two punch of a broad value menu combined with premium promotions -- bring in budget-conscious customers with the cheap burgers, and them upsell them on the fancy stuff.

Arby’s owner buying Wendy’s in all-stock deal

That burger was so hot, in fact, that the company got 98 Degrees singer Nick Lachey to sing love songs about it. But alas, even that cheeseburger couldn't survive the ax, and Wendy's killed it in November in favor of yet another premium limited offering: The bacon portabella melt on a brioche bun. Why kill off such a popular sandwich? Partly because it was just too difficult to make it permanently. It's all part of a larger strategy at Wendy's to overhaul its brand and reinvigorate sales.

3 Reasons Wendy's Might Be Your Best Choice in Fast-Food Stocks

And it's more than just a new burger here and there. Wendy's has been upgrading its restaurant space and its packaging as well. On a more practical level, Wendy's has also succeeded by selling some locations to franchisees, which streamlines profits.

  • And there seems to be some truth to that, as burger sales at the big chains are generally down or weak as the better-burger boys continue to grow;
  • McDonald's shares, meanwhile, are up just 7 percent;
  • At Burger King, meanwhile, the picture is mixed.

And its attempt at a big promotion, the pricey chicken wings called Mighty Wings, fell flat, leaving the company with an estimated 10 million frozen wings in storage. Yet Wendy's shares tumbled after its last quarterly earnings report in November.


CNBC personality Jim Cramer says it's because the company is doubling down on future growth, spending even more money on sprucing up stores. Investors had high expectations, he said, and are missing the real story.