Wendy’s shares rose 12.6 percent after the company announced first-quarter profits of 2 percent and the formation of a special committee of independent directors yesterday.

The company’s revenues rose from $578.7 million during last year’s same quarter to $590.2 this quarter. In addition, the company and its franchisees opened 11 new Wendy’s restaurants during the quarter. The company’s special committee of independent directors will review strategic options to enhance shareholder value, which includes a possible sale, and will be led by James V. Pickett. Among other things, the committee will concentrate on revisions to the company’s strategic plan, changes to its capital structure, a possible sale, merger or other business combination.

In a statement made yesterday, Pickett said, “The board’s formation of the special committee is a positive step in Wendy’s continuing efforts to further enhance value for its shareholders, franchisees and other stakeholders.”

The mention of a possible sale was quickly picked up by The Associated Press and Reuters news services but Prickett has not commented further.

“A number of stakeholders have offered suggestions about strategies to improve performance and create additional value,” Pickett said in a statement. “The special committee will review strategic options while management continues to focus on executing Wendy’s current strategic plan to revitalize the brand and improve results at every restaurant in the system.” Prickett specified no specific timeline for such changes.

To boost slowing sales, however, Wendy’s has already introduced a new line of Frescata deli-style sandwiches.

The shares’ increased price, $36.80, became the company’s new 52-week high. Prior to yesterday’s announcement, shares had been trading between the $26.35 and $35.95, according to the Associated Press.

Wendy’s is based in Dublin, Ohio and is currently the third-largest burger chain in the country.

News, Wendy's