Restaurant Brands International Upgraded To Outperform On Cost Cutting Opportunities

By Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Restaurant Brands International Inc. was upgraded to outperform from sector perform at RBC Capital Markets on an upbeat outlook for Burger King and fresh opportunities for cost cuts at the Tim Horton chain. The price target was raised to $48 from $38. RBC analysts believe Burger King has sales momentum that has carried it through the first quarter, and raised the fast-food chain's first quarter same-store sales growth estimate to 4% from 2%. "We believe Burger King has weathered the storm of competitive discounting with its own value platforms," analysts wrote in a note published Monday. "We believe hot dogs also contributed to first quarter growth. Lastly, we believe the company will continue to find efficiences in the Tim Horton's supply chain--a key source of earnings per share upside versus the street in the second half of 2015." Restaurant Brands shares are inactive in premarket trading, but down 4.4% for the year so far. The S&P 500 is up 0.2% for the year to date.

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