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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
August 5, 2014
11:49 EDTBLMN, EAT, DRI, BJRI, CAKEBloomin' 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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October 1, 2014
08:11 EDTDRIDarden's director nominees sends letter to shareholders
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07:08 EDTCAKERestaurant sector upgraded to Bullish from Cautious at Stifel
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06:33 EDTDRIEgan-Jones recommends Darden investors vote for director nominees
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September 30, 2014
15:24 EDTDRIISS, Glass Lewis recommend all Starboard nominees for Darden
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07:32 EDTBJRIWells Fargo to hold a summit
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September 26, 2014
08:35 EDTDRIISS recommends Darden shareholders vote for Starboard's board nominees
Starboard Value announced that Institutional Shareholder Services has recommended that Darden shareholders vote on Starboard's WHITE proxy card to elect all twelve of Starboard's nominees at the upcoming 2014 Annual Meeting of Shareholders. ISS concluded, "As the dissidents have made a compelling case that a change in control is warranted, have provided a detailed strategic and operating plan to minimize the risk of unintended consequences, and nominated a compelling slate of candidates and in particular because election of all twelve dissident nominees will also result in the dissidents expanding the board to add back two current incumbents, enabling a more thoughtful approach to board continuity votes FOR each of the twelve dissident nominees are warranted."
07:06 EDTDRIDarden issues statement after ISS report related to board nominee election
Following a report from Institutional Shareholder Serviecs, or ISIS, that relates to the election of directors to Darden's board, Darden issues a statement that says shareholders recognize the risks of ceding total control of the board to Starboard. It says "We believe that shareholders should be alarmed that ISS has recommended wholesale change with virtually NO regard in its report to the positive improvement underway in Darden's operations, the risks associated with the full Board turnover that Starboard Value L.P. and its affiliates is seeking, and the meaningful enhancements made to Darden's leadership structure, including the search for a new Chief Executive Officer and the Company's new slate of independent director nominees, which would result in eight of 12 directors new this year. Instead, the ISS report places large reliance on mistaken perceptions regarding the Red Lobster transaction that are inconsistent with the facts.... Contrary to ISS's view, we have heard from many shareholders who do not support ceding total control of the Board to Starboard and its nominees. While these shareholders support new perspectives, they also recognize the risks of the full board turnover that Starboard is seeking risks that ISS appears to have ignored. Darden's slate of director nominees is the only slate that provides the benefit and balance of new perspectives as well as continuity of experience and insights with four new independent nominees unaffiliated with the Company or Starboard, four highly qualified continuing independent nominees, and four seats to be filled by Starboard resulting in eight of 12 new independent directors this year... Darden Board urges shareholders to vote ONLY on the BLUE proxy card "FOR ALL" of Darden's highly qualified, experienced and independent director nominees"
September 25, 2014
09:44 EDTDRIStarboard says Glass Lewis recommends all Darden nominees
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06:04 EDTBLMNBloomin' Brands price target raised to $22 from $18 at JPMorgan
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September 24, 2014
13:03 EDTDRIStarboard sends letter to Darden holders seeking nominee support
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September 23, 2014
08:05 EDTDRIDarden highlights Starboard's 'misleading' statements in letter to shareholders
Darden Restaurants issued an open letter to shareholders in connection with the company's 2014 Annual Meeting of Shareholders. The company says "All eight of Darden's independent director nominees, including our four new independent nominees and our four continuing independent directors, are indeed committed to serving the best interests of all Darden shareholders. We share the common goal of enhancing shareholder value, and we are prepared to work collaboratively with the four Starboard nominees that our slate contemplates to achieve this objective. We are deeply concerned, however, about the future of Darden if Starboard's slate is elected and believe it is important to correct the record with regard to a number of inconsistent, contradictory and misleading statements made by Starboard as part of its efforts to take control of your company...We do not believe it is in shareholders' interests to elect an entirely new Board, which could impede operating initiatives that are largely already underway and delivering results."
September 19, 2014
09:17 EDTDRIStarboard's director nominees sends letter to Darden shareholders
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08:13 EDTDRIDarden issues statement to thank, urge customer support for Olive Garden
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September 18, 2014
10:27 EDTDRIOptions with decreasing implied volatility
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08:12 EDTDRIDarden board says shareholders' choice could impact progress, including dividend
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September 17, 2014
09:58 EDTDRIDarden urges shareholders to support independent director nominees
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