A large dark pool order was detected in QSR stock on May 15, 2020. The dark pool print occurred at 3:24 PM and it was valued at $62 million.
We think the dark pool trade was a buy order because Bill Ackman disclosed earlier this month that Pershing Square was increasing its stake in Restaurant Brands (QSR) bringing its total to roughly 25 million shares. That news was disclosed by CNBC on Friday, May 15, 2020, and so we think an institutional investor bought QSR stock on that news.
Another reason we think the huge dark pool order on May 15, 2020 was a buy order is because Stifel analyst Chris O’Cull upgraded Restaurant Brands (QSR) to a Buy rating on May 14, 2020. Chris’ upgrade was part of a broader research note on restaurants, stating the rating changes reflect his “increased appetite” in fast food names offering a durable business model and improving consolidated operating performance potential. The analyst is citing his survey of “heavy sit-down restaurant users”, with about 67% expressing concerns about returning to a sit-down restaurant because of the lack of social distancing and cleanliness. O’Cull believes that Restaurant Brands (QSR) will benefit as all of their brands rely heavily on either drive-thrus or delivery service.
The idea with QSR stock is to buy it now while it’s cheap because of the restaurant closures caused by the coronavirus pandemic. As more restaurants around the world open back up, QSR should benefit from that as well.
We don’t yet see rising large players volume in QSR stock. My guess is that the pop in large players volume around March 18, 2020, was Bill Ackman adding to his position. The second pop around April 20, 2020, could have been Ackman adding further to that position.