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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
December 23, 2013
14:44 EDTDRI, EAT, DIN, BLMN, CAKE, RTDarden rises after activist investor takes 5.6% stake
Shares of Darden Restaurants (DRI), which owns several restaurant chains including Olive Garden, Red Lobster and Longhorn Steakhouse, are climbing after activist investor Starboard Value announced that it had obtained a 5.6% stake in the company. WHAT'S NEW: Saying that Darden's most recent turnaround plan "falls significantly short of the actions required to maximize shareholder value," Starboard wrote that Darden could "dramatically" improve its operating performance. The company can also realize substantial value from its real estate and explore other strategic options, according to Starboard. WHAT'S NOTABLE: On December 17, hedge fund Barington Capital - which represents a group of shareholders that owns over 2% of the shares of Darden - wrote that the stock could reach $71-$80 if the company follows its recommendations. On December 19, Darden announced its plan to enhance shareholder value, which includes separating the company's Red Lobster business. Although no final decision has been made on the form of the separation, the company expects to execute a tax-free spin-off of Red Lobster to its shareholders, but may also consider a sale of the Red Lobster business, Darden announced. The company also said it plans to reduce unit growth, lower capital expenditures and forgo acquisitions. PRICE ACTION: In mid-afternoon trading, Darden climbed $3.55, or 6.95%, to $54.64. OTHERS TO WATCH: Other casual dining restaurant operators include Brinker (EAT), DineEquity (DIN), Bloomin' Brands (BLMN), Cheesecake Factory (CAKE), and Ruby Tuesday (RT).
News For DRI;EAT;DIN;BLMN;CAKE;RT From The Last 14 Days
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April 24, 2014
06:29 EDTRTRuby Tuesday on right track, says Longbow
After conducting checks and following Ruby Tuesday's announcement that its same-store sales had risen 1%-2% in Q4, Longbow is more confident that the company's "concept is not broken." The firm is now more confident that the company is making the right moves to transform its menu and image. It raised its price target on the shares to $10 from $9 and keeps a Buy rating.
April 23, 2014
17:16 EDTCAKECheesecake Factory sees FY14 EPS $2.24-$2.33, consensus $2.36
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17:14 EDTCAKECheesecake Factory sees Q2 EPS 59c-62c, consensus 62c
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16:27 EDTCAKECheesecake Factory reports Q1 adjusted EPS 43c, consensus 49c
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10:26 EDTEATBrinker says 46% of commodities contracted through end of CY14
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10:14 EDTEATBrinker says on track to double FY12 EPS by FY17
Says on track to add 10-12 new Chilli's restaurants per year. Says feels good about future of all three businesses. Comments made on the Q3 earnings conference call.
07:48 EDTEATBrinker reports Q3 Chili's sales $645.8M; Q3 Maggiano's sales $93.4M
Reports Q3 Franchise and Other sales $19.2M
07:47 EDTEATBrinker reports Q3 comparable restaurant sales up 0.7%
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07:47 EDTEATBrinker reports Q3 adjusted EPS 84c, consensus 83c
Reports Q3 revenue $758.41M, consensus $766.27M
April 22, 2014
18:53 EDTDRIStarboard urges Darden not to separate Red Lobster prior to annual meeting
Starboard Value LP, one of the largest shareholders of Darden Restaurants, with ownership of approximately 5.5% of the outstanding common stock of the company, announced that it has delivered by letter to Darden written requests from the holders of more than 55% of the company's outstanding common stock to call a special meeting of shareholders. At the special meeting, Starboard will present a non-binding resolution urging the board of Darden not to approve any agreement or proposed transaction involving a Red Lobster separation or spin-off prior to the 2014 annual meeting of shareholders unless such agreement or transaction would require shareholder approval.
13:11 EDTEATEarnings Preview: Brinker still sees FY14 EPS $2.65-$2.75
Brinker International (EAT) is scheduled to report third quarter results before the market open on Wednesday, April 23, with a conference call scheduled for 10:00 am ET. Brinker owns, develops, operates and franchises the Chili's Grill & Bar and Maggiano's Little Italy restaurant brands. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of 83c on revenue of $766.27M, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is 80c-86c on revenue of $755.5M-$774.69M. LAST QUARTER: Brinker reported second quarter adjusted EPS of 59c against estimates for 58c on revenue of $704.4M against estimates for $699.23M. Q2 comparable restaurant sales at company-owned restaurants increased 0.8%. During its Q2 earnings call, Brinker said it was "optimistic" about the second half of 2014. The company said it expected the rate of commodity inflation to remain flat through calendar year 2014 and says 75% of commodities are contracted through end of fiscal year 2014. NEWS: At March's Bank of America Merrill Lynch Consumer & Retail Conference, Brinker reaffirmed its FY14 EPS view of $2.65-$2.75 against estimates for $2.73. The company previously reiterated its goal of doubling fiscal year 2010 EPS to $2.75-$2.80 by fiscal year 2015. At the Raymond James Institutional Investors Conference, Brinker said it was on pace to achieve its long-term goal of improving operating income margin by 400 basis points by FY14. The company still sees 3%-5% revenue growth on an annual basis and expects its cash flow will "go north" to $250M by fiscal year 2016. Brinker is looking to have over $4 in EPS by fiscal year 2017. The company recently announced that Guy Constant, executive VP, Chief Financial Officer and president of Global Business Development resigned and said Marie Perry, senior VP, treasurer and controller, will serve as interim CFO until a permanent successor is named. STREET RESEARCH: During the quarter, shares were downgraded to Hold from Buy at Miller Tabak. After meeting with the company's management, Sterne Agee said it expects Chili's to outperform industry same-store sales gains. The firm expects the company to carry out significant share repurchases and raise its dividend over the longer term. PRICE ACTION: Over the last three months, Brinker shares are up over 2%. Year-to-date, shares are up over 9.5%.
11:28 EDTDRIStarboard wins consent to call special Darden meeting, CNBC reports
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11:26 EDTDRIDarden has 60 days to call special meeting, CNBC reports
11:26 EDTDRIStarboard wins consent to call special meeting of Darden holders, CNBC reports
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09:51 EDTDRIStarboard CEO believes fund will win consent solicitation at Darden
Starboard Value is seeking consent to call a special meeting of Darden shareholders where holders would be asked to consider a non-binding resolution urging the Darden board not to approve any agreement or proposed transaction involving a Red Lobster separation or spin-off. Starboard Value CEO Jeffrey Smith is speaking on CNBC.
April 14, 2014
10:02 EDTBLMNOn The Fly: Analyst Upgrade Summary
Acorda Therapeutics (ACOR) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at FBR Capital... Allegheny Technologies (ATI) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at Sterne Agee... BP (BP) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Canaccord... Bloomin' Brands (BLMN) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank... Boardwalk Pipeline (BWP) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at BofA/Merrill... Boston Scientific (BSX) upgraded at BofA/Merrill... Charles Schwab (SCHW) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS... Citigroup (C) upgraded to Hold from Sell at Rafferty Capital... Community Health (CYH) upgraded to Outperform from Perform at Oppenheimer... Eaton Vance (EV) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Citigroup... Eli Lilly (LLY) upgraded to Hold from Underperform at Jefferies... F5 Networks (FFIV) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Stifel... HeartWare (HTWR) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BTIG... Heartland Payment (HPY) upgraded to Hold from Sell at Stifel... Hyatt Hotels (H) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at FBR Capital... MasterCard (MA) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at RW Baird... McDermott (MDR) upgraded to Neutral from Underweight at HSBC... Palo Alto (PANW) upgraded to Overweight at Stephens... PetroChina (PTR) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at Credit Suisse... Seagate (STX) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Argus... Sensata (ST) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup... Stryker (SYK) upgraded to Neutral from Reduce at SunTrust... TD Ameritrade (AMTD) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS... TTM Technologies (TTMI) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Stifel... Transocean (RIG) upgraded to Hold from Sell at Deutsche Bank... VMware (VMW) upgraded to Outperform from Underperform at CLSA... Visa (V) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at RW Baird... Yahoo (YHOO) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at SunTrust... Zimmer (ZMH) upgraded to Neutral from Reduce at SunTrust... bebe stores (BEBE) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Janney Capital.
06:58 EDTBLMNBloomin' Brands added to short-term buy list at Deutsche Bank
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05:50 EDTBLMNBloomin' Brands upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank
Deutsche Bank upgraded Bloomin' Brands to Buy citing valuation and the company's above-average growth. The firm has a $27 price target for shares.
April 13, 2014
16:04 EDTDRIDarden sued by investors on corporate bylaws, WSJ says
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April 11, 2014
13:45 EDTDRIDarden responds to ISS, Glass, Lewis reports
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