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Lehman Raises Wendy's Target

Lehman Brothers raised its target on Wendy's (WEN).

Analyst Mitchell Speiser says fundamentally, Wendy's plans to acquire the Baja Fresh Mexican restaurant chain is a great deal. He notes Baja Fresh is dead-on with eating trends. Speiser adds that the The Quick Casual category, which he thinks represents only 2%-3% of overall restaurant sales, is growing 15-20% vs. 3%-4% for the entire restaurant industry. He also notes Mexican food is the quintessential Quick Casual concept because commodity costs like beans and rice are cheap -- so high quality food can be offered at a good price and also be served quickly. With only 169 stores, Speiser thinks the potential for Baja Fresh units seems to be north of 1,000. He raised his target to $50, and reiterates strong buy.

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