JPMorgan upgrades Wendy's to buy, saying new cost-cutting strategy is working

An employee hands a customer their order at the drive-thru window of a Wendy's restaurant in Peoria, Illinois.
Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images

JPMorgan on Friday upgraded Wendy's to overweight from neutral, saying the new cost-cutting strategy from CEO Todd Penegor and CFO Gunther Plosch is paying off.

"We can now see management having complete fluency and command over the tactics and details to achieve their broad strategic goals," equity analyst John Ivankoe wrote in a research note.

Penegor and Plosch, who took his position in May 2016, have streamlined Wendy's business model by subsegmenting the company into five main areas: company restaurants, real estate, international, franchising and corporate.

JPMorgan says that strategy clears the way for Wendy's to reduce operational expenses and focus on growing its cash flow.

"Benchmarking was done for each segment individually, and the company has challenged itself to do a 'clean sheet' redesign for the most efficient and effective structure," Ivankoe wrote, citing the potential for the new strategy to help Wendy's grow its business and exceed earnings expectations.