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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
January 22, 2014
11:39 EDTEAT, DRI, CAKE, BLMN, DINBrinker 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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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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April 10, 2014
10:30 EDTCAKECheesecake Factory upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Tigress Financial
Tigress Financial upgraded Cheesecake Factory to Buy citing the company's consistent comparative store sales growth.
10:28 EDTBLMNBloomin' Brands initiated with a Buy at Tigress Financial
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