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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
August 5, 2014
11:49 EDTBJRI, BLMN, DRI, CAKE, EATBloomin' Brands plunges to 52-week low after cutting full year profit outlook
Shares of casual restaurant operator Bloomin' Brands (BLMN) are sinking after the company reported mixed second quarter results and lowered its outlook for fiscal 2014 profit and same store sales. WHAT'S NEW: Bloomin' Brands this morning reported Q2 adjusted earnings per share of 27c and revenue of $1.1B, compared to analysts' consensus estimates of 29c and $1.09B, respectively. Same store sales for company-owned core domestic concepts increased 0.6% during the quarter, while traffic was flat, as increases from lunch expansion were offset by traffic declines in the dinner business. Elizabeth Smith, the company's Chief Executive Officer, commented that dinner traffic did not recover as the company had expected following the first quarter's winter weather events, adding that the company has responded by using marketing focused on dinner for the second half of the year. In addition, Smith said the company continues to face an increasingly competitive environment and "significant" macro issues in Korea. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Looking ahead, Bloomin' Brands lowered its FY14 adjusted EPS view to $1.05-$1.10 from its prior view of "at least" $1.21, well below consensus estimates for $1.22. The company also revised its FY14 revenue outlook to $4.4B-$4.45B from its previous view of "at least" $4.4B, compared to consensus $4.42B. It also lowered its FY14 SSS view to growth of 0%-1% from its prior view of 1%-2% growth. In addition, Bloomin' Brands now sees FY14 commodity inflation of 2.5%-3.5%, up from 2%-4% previously expected, and adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $459M-$470M, a decrease from prior guidance of $493M. The company still sees 55-60 new system-wide restaurants for the year. Bloomin' also said it plans to expand its Carrabba's brand to Brazil, with the first opening expected in the first half of 2015. Looking to the third quarter, the company noted that it expects certain restaurant operating expenses to be higher year over year due to the timing of marketing expenditures and costs associated with the Bonefish Grill menu rollout in early July. In addition, the company will incur additional general and administrative expenses related to its development of Carrabba's in Brazil in Q3. PRICE ACTION: In late morning trading, Bloomin' Brands plunged $4.30, or nearly 22%, to $15.50 on nearly five times its average daily trading volume. The stock continues to make fresh 52-week lows as the session unfolds. Including today's decline, the stock is down approximately 37% over the past 12 months. OTHERS TO WATCH: Other companies in the casual restaurant space include Brinker International (EAT), down 0.7%, Darden (DRI), up 0.5%, BJ's Restaurants (BJRI), up 0.7%, and The Cheesecake Factory (CAKE), down 0.1%.
News For BLMN;EAT;DRI;BJRI;CAKE From The Last 14 Days
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November 19, 2014
08:40 EDTDRIDarden results poised to improve, says Sterne Agee
Following recent management changes and cost cuts by Darden, Sterne Agee thinks the company's financial performance is poised to improve. The firm believes the stock has many potential catalysts, and it raised its price target on the name to $64 from $55 while keeping a Buy rating.
November 18, 2014
16:46 EDTDRIDarden up 2% following restructuring announcement
16:45 EDTDRIDarden to incur one-time charges in 2Q15
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16:43 EDTDRIDarden to clsoe corporate aviation departement, sell planes 'in due course'
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16:43 EDTDRIDarden to restructure Olive Garden, LongHorn field leadership
Darden will eliminate one layer of field operations supervision to provide greater line of sight for restaurant leadership teams. This streamlining is expected to result in improvements in both visibility and accountability as the brand leaders at Olive Garden and LongHorn continue to work on improving the guest experience.
16:41 EDTDRIDarden to eliminate 25 open support positions
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16:40 EDTDRIDarden Chief Human Resources Officer Ng to transition from position
Daisy Ng, Chief Human Resources Officer, will transition out of her role after more than nine years with Darden. Danielle Kirgan, currently SVP, Human Resources, Specialty Restaurant Group and Total Rewards, will assume Ng's position effective January 5, 2015. Ng will assist in the transition and support the work of the board including the work of the Compensation Committee.
16:39 EDTDRIDarden CFO Richmond to retire
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16:37 EDTDRIDarden announces restructuring, strategic actions
Darden Restaurants announced several leadership changes and strategic actions in order to increase the focus on restaurant operations and improve the guest experience. These changes will better position Darden to win the battle for market share across all of its concepts. In addition to improving focus and providing better support for the company's restaurants, the announcement will lead to approximately $20M in annualized cost savings through a reduction in General and Administrative expenses. The company expects savings of approximately $10M this fiscal year which will mitigate anticipated near-term cost increases in dairy, beef and other commodities. Darden Interim CEO Gene Lee stated, "Winning market share, improving same-restaurant-sales and achieving best-in-class profitability are our key operational objectives going forward, so we need to fine-tune our approach to the business to make sure we are laser-focused on these initiatives. The actions announced today are critically important steps in becoming more efficient in how we support the restaurants. This includes limiting the number of distractions that divert our attention from what matters most continually working to improve the food and service we offer our guests."
16:35 EDTDRIDarden reports restructuring, closes aviation department, CFO retirement
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07:30 EDTCAKEMorgan Stanley to hold a conference
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November 13, 2014
08:35 EDTDRIDarden announces corporate governance reforms
Darden Restaurants is implementing a number of reforms and the board has also recommended changes that would require shareholder approval at the company's 2015 Annual Meeting of Shareholders. The changes include, but are not limited to: termination of the company's Shareholder Rights Plan the company has eliminated the Poison Pill by amending the Rights Agreement to expire on November 28, 2014 rather than May 25, 2015; the company has adopted a majority voting standard in uncontested elections; the company has amended its political engagement and disclosure policy to provide additional disclosure of its political contributions and lobbying efforts; the board has resolved to recommend for shareholder approval, at the company's next annual meeting, an amendment to the Charter to provide a 10% voting threshold to call a special meeting; the board has recommended for shareholder approval an amendment to the relevant provisions of the Charter to eliminate the supermajority requirement. The board also adopted a revised peer group for compensation benchmarking, which better matches the company's size and profile. This new peer group will assist the board in further aligning compensation practices with shareholder interests.
November 11, 2014
10:00 EDTDRIOn The Fly: Analyst Upgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy upgrades include: Alcentra Capital (ABDC) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Keefe Bruyette... Ambac Financial (AMBC) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at MKM Partners... Banco Bilbao (BBVA) upgraded to Buy from Reduce at Nomura... Darden (DRI) upgraded at KeyBanc... ICU Medical (ICUI) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray... IMAX (IMAX) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman... Juniper (JNPR) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Nomura... Michaels (MIK) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley... Midcoast Energy (MEP) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse... Midstates Petroleum (MPO) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Northland... Monroe Capital (MRCC) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at RW Baird... NuVasive (NUVA) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Cowen... ONEOK Partners (OKS) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse... ORBCOMM (ORBC) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at First Analysis... Pattern Energy (PEGI) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Macquarie... Targa Resources Partners (NGLS) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse... Time Warner (TWX) upgraded to Conviction Buy from Neutral at Goldman... Tremor Video (TRMR) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies... Western Gas Partners (WES) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse... Yamana Gold (AUY) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at HSBC... Zynga (ZNGA) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies.
09:22 EDTBLMNBloomin' Brands 18.308M share Spot Secondary priced at $20.50
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08:55 EDTDRIDarden upgraded at KeyBanc
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06:43 EDTDRIDarden upgraded to Buy from Hold at KeyBanc
November 10, 2014
16:29 EDTBLMNBloomin' Brands files to sell 18.3M shares for Bain Capital
Goldman, Sachs & Co., is acting as underwriter for the offering.

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