Wendy’s stock soars on summer salads, chicken tender-based investment theses and maybe some ticker confusion


Apparently, the stock market really likes a Summer Strawberry Chicken Salad from Wendy’s.

Shares in Wendy’s
soared just over 19% at Tuesday’s opening bell after the company became very popular on financial social media, with mentions of the stock increasing more than 4,000 in just 24 hours, maybe after a tongue-in-cheek post about why it’s the hot new meme stock.

The move up comes during the latest rally in meme stocks and despite very little actual news from the Dublin, Ohio-based fast food chain other than a Monday announcement that the company will bring back its popular Summer Strawberry Chicken Salad, giving their customers a chance to indulge once again in choice ingredients like “hand-picked strawberries, crisp Applewood smoked bacon, savory Tuscan cheese blend.”

But while all of that with a champagne vinaigrette might be appealing to many, some retail investors in the WallStreetBets in-crowd are having a bit of giggle at what looks like a case of a joke gone awry and some potential ticker symbol mistaken identity. 

A flurry of posts on multiple Reddit boards in the past 24 hours appeared to toy with the notion that Wendy’s was a stock worth taking “to the moon,” with many making a similar joke that the best reason to support the stock was Wendy’s edgy Twitter persona that likes to “roast” followers and the fact that the company makes chicken tenders, a favorite snack of retail traders who have adopted the word “Tendies” to describe trading profits that can be spent purchasing chicken tenders.

WallStreetBets user Chillznday took to the popular finance board on Monday to promote Wendy’s stock and the argument was…a fun read.

“Literally its the perfect stock for this sub,”Chillznday reasoned. “Let me explain.”

“First, they just came out with their new summer salad,” read the post referring to the aforementioned Summer Strawberry Chicken. “Experts are already stating that this salad is the salad of the summer.”

“Second, Wendys social media profile is no stranger to memes. Everyone has seen the “Roast Me” thing that Wendys has been doing,” Chillznday continued. “Academics have called this term “metapragmatic roasting” and its incredibly effective with the younger generation. Here is a chart demonstrating the breakdown of their tweets.”

A pie chart followed, breaking down Wendy’s tweets into “roasting” of brands or users, “retorts”, “jibes” and “residue.” Roasting and retorts accounted for an overwhelming portion.

“Third, Both Gamestop and Wendys have been sharing in this Social Media “Beef” or “Metapragmatic Roasting” of each other,” the post continued, linking Wendy’s to the MotherMeme, GamesTop. “Their Twitter profiles are actively following each other and going off each others posts.”

And then, Chillznday dropped his conclusion.

“Forth, well this one is obvious but Wendys Chicken Tendies,” it read. “Literally the perfect stock for this sub.”

There was also mention that Wendy’s stock has a low float and cheap calls expiring in January, but that seemed almost besides the point.

What also caught the eyes of some was that users on many Reddit boards have taken to commonly and intentionally misspelling the word “When” as “Wen” as a form of insider humor on boards, and it might be leading institutional traders who have become aware of social media’s new power to buy Wendy’s stock, because it trades under the ticker “WEN.”

The phrase “Wen moon?” is a very popular phrase for retail investors who like to use language that makes them appear performatively less intelligent, poking fun at the notion that they are the “dumb money” in comparison to Wall Street funds and banks. Reddit users are also fond of using the spelling in phrases like “Wen rich?”

While it’s unclear if there was confusion between the word and the ticker symbol, HypeEquity says there was not and speculation abounded that the “WEN” vs “wen?” issue was a factor in the move.

But even with the huge interest, some Reddit users questioned the Wendy’s thesis on its merits.

“I’m not investing in Wendy’s until they can consistently remember my extra bbq sauce pack for my nugnugs,” user DyslexicOrxy posted on WallStreetBets.

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