Wendy’s says Konnichiha to Japan

Wendy’s (NYSE:WEN) has announced the grand opening of its first restaurant in Japan, part of a joint venture with Japanese company Higa Industries. The company plans to open 100 restaurants over the next five years and estimates a long-term potential for 700 restaurants in the country.

Higa Industries is led by Ernest Higa who owned more than 180 Domino’s Pizza (NYSE:DPZ) franchises in Japan before selling them in 2010. Wendy’s President International, Darrell van Ligten said, “We are delighted to join with a highly capable partner, Ernie Higa, to bring Wendy’s brand to Japan and rapidly grow our presence in one of the largest quick-service restaurant markets in the world. The opening of our first joint venture restaurant in Japan is an important step in our international growth plans, and an expression of our confidence in the bright future of Japan.”

The Japanese versions of Wendy’s restaurants will serve many of the same items offered here in the US with a few special items such as the Avocado Wasabi Hamburger and the Truffle and Porcini Grilled Chicken Sandwich. Wendy’s follows in the footsteps of McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) and YUM! Brands (NYSE:YUM) operator of KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and WingStreet.

Here’s how Wendy’s shares reacted to the big news:

Wendy’s/Arby’s Group, Inc. (NYSE:WEN): WEN shares recently traded at $5.40, up $0.06, or 1.12%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $4.29 to $5.62. Volume today was 2,066,163 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 5,784,410 shares. The company’s trailing earnings are $-0.02 per share.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ashley Cloninger at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com