Starboard issues statement in response to Darden CEO retirement Starboard CEO Jeffrey Smith, stated, "The overdue retirement of Clarence Otis is obviously in the best interest of Darden and its shareholders. It is surprising to us that it took this long. It is a shame for all Darden shareholders that this change happened only after the Board sanctioned the destruction of a billion dollars in shareholder value by approving the Red Lobster sale against the vehement objections of its shareholders... Unfortunately, Mr. Otis leaving represents just one small step in the transformation that is urgently needed at Darden. To be clear, the Company still requires a major overhaul at the Board level. This Board has proven over an extended period of time that it is unable to respectfully and capably represent the best interests of the shareholders they were elected to represent and cannot be trusted to make the incredibly important decision as to the selection of the next CEO of Darden. There needs to be a true and complete process to vet both internal and external talent in order to find a truly great, transformational, operationally-focused restaurant leader. This Board has a history of repeatedly making the easy decision, rather than the decision that is best for shareholders. Darden needs a majority change to the Board as soon as possible to jumpstart and complete the process of recruiting a truly great leader."
On The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary Today's noteworthy downgrades include: Abbott (ABT) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at William Blair... Chuy's (CHUY) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James... Cypress Semiconductor (CY) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Sterne Agee CRT... Darden (DRI) downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at Raymond James... Dominion (D) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS... Ensco (ESV) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citi... First Financial (FFIN) downgraded to Sell from Hold at Sandler O'Neill... Global Partners (GLP) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at Mitsubishi UFJ... Investors Bancorp (ISBC) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Compass Point... NetScout (NTCT) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Needham... Precision Castparts (PCP) downgraded to Sell from Buy at Gabelli... Spirit AeroSystems (SPR) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman... Synaptics (SYNA) downgraded to Buy from Strong Buy at Needham... Terex (TEX) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Avondale... UniCredit (UNCFF) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Berenberg... United Rentals (URI) downgraded to Neutral from Positive at Susquehanna... Xcel Energy (XEL) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Macquarie.