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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
January 22, 2014
11:39 EDTBLMN, EAT, CAKE, DIN, DRIBrinker hits 52-week high after better than expected results
Shares of casual restaurant operator Brinker International (EAT) are rallying after the company's second quarter results beat expectations. Brinker owns and operates Chili’s and Maggiano’s restaurants and also franchises the brands. WHAT'S NEW: This morning, Brinker reported second quarter adjusted earnings of 59c per share and revenue of $704.4M, compared to analysts' consensus estimates of 58c and $699.23M, respectively. Comparable restaurant sales at company-owned restaurants increased 0.8% in the quarter. On its earnings conference call, Brinker said it was "optimistic" about the second half of 2014. The company expects the rate of commodity inflation to remain flat through this calendar year and noted that 75% of its commodities are contracted through the end of the current fiscal year. ANALYST REACTION: In a note to investors this morning, Citigroup said that Brinker continues to gain market share and outperformed the industry during the quarter in terms of same-store sales in each month. Citi said the company's slightly better than expected results, coupled with low investor expectations for Brinker, could cause the shares to rise. The firm maintained a Buy rating with a $49 price target. PRICE ACTION: In late morning trading, Brinker rose $2.56, or 5.5%, to $49.25 on heavy trading volume. Earlier in the session, the stock hit a fresh 52-week high of $50.74, and it's up over 51% in the past twelve months. OTHERS TO WATCH: Brinkers' competitors include Darden Restaurants (DRI), Cheesecake Factory (CAKE), DineEquity (DIN) and Bloomin' Brands (BLMN).
News For EAT;DRI;CAKE;BLMN;DIN From The Last 14 Days
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November 26, 2014
06:27 EDTDINDineEquity looking to acquire Fazoli's, NY Post reports
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November 25, 2014
12:06 EDTEAT, CAKE, DRIFDA finalizes menu calorie labeling rules
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06:51 EDTDRI, EAT, CAKEFDA to force calorie restaurants, theaters to show calorie totals, NY Times says
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November 24, 2014
07:37 EDTDINPizza concepts seen as possible targets for DineEquity, Bloomberg says
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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.

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