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Aug. 4, 2014, 8:46 AM
- Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) claims Starboard Value has made misleading statements in regard to the sale of Red Lobster.
- The company says the $2.1B deal price reps a premium multiple compared to other restaurant deals.
- A final shot from Darden warns that if Starboard is successful in replacing the entire Darden board, investors could see the $2.20 annual dividend slashed or eliminated.
Jul. 31, 2014, 11:43 AM
- Darden Restaurants (DRI +0.6%) announces an accelerated buyback of $500M worth of shares.
- The company will use some of the Red Lobster proceeds for the share purchases.
Jul. 31, 2014, 10:02 AM
- There could be sweeping changes at Darden Restaurants (DRI +0.7%) if Starboard gets majority control of the board, says Hedgeye's Howard Penney.
- Boardroom math: Starboard wants all 12 seats, while Darden has effectively given up three with its recent corporate changes. If Starboard lands 7, Penney thinks the Darden transformation will begin in earnest.
Jul. 29, 2014, 9:54 AM
- A number of restaurants stocks are pushing higher after activist investors get their way at Darden Restaurants (DRI +3.5%) and DineEquity (DIN +6.2%) puts in a solid quarter.
- In the guessing game of which chain might get the most attention from restless institutional shareholders - Denny's (DENN +4.5%), Bob Evans (BOBE -0.2%), and Ignite Restaurants (IRG +3.5%) have been bantered around the most.
Jul. 29, 2014, 8:16 AM
- NPD Group's long-range forecast for restaurant traffic calls for less than 1% growth annually.
- Breakfast traffic is expected to grow faster than lunch and dinner traffic.
- "Margins are being squeezed, and it’s a battle for share," warns the research firm.
- Restaurants stocks: CAKE, CBRL, CMG, DNKN, DPZ, DRI, EAT, JACK, MCD, PNRA, RRGB, RT, SBUX, SONC, WEN, BWLD, THI, BDL, NATH, LUB, BKW, CHUY, BLMN, PZZA, TXRH, DENN, KKD, BBRG, DFRG, BOBE, RUTH, IRG, DIN.
Jul. 28, 2014, 5:36 PM
Jul. 28, 2014, 5:06 PM
- Current Independent Lead Director Charles Ledsinger has been appointed as Independent Non-Executive Chairman effective immediately. Otis - a target of activist investors for some time - will stay on as CEO until Dec. 31 of this year or when a replacement can be found. whichever comes earlier.
- In other governance changes, the board expects to nominate nine of its independet directors for election, leaving three spots for nominees proposed by Starboard Value. The board has also begun settlement discussions with Starboard over the pending proxy contest.
- DRI +4.3% AH
- Previously: Darden Restaurants completes Red Lobster sale
Jul. 28, 2014, 2:51 PM
- Darden Restaurants (DRI +0.8%) completes the $2.1B sale of its Red Lobster chain to Golden Gate Capital.
- The company has earmarked $1B of the net proceeds to go toward paying off debt with a portion of the remaining amount set to go toward buybacks.
- Now that Red Lobster has been unloaded, Dardem is expected to focus its efforts on rebuilding the Olive Garden chain where comp sales fell off 3.5% in FQ4.
Jul. 15, 2014, 9:01 AM
- Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) increases the size of its debt buyback to $610M after seeing plenty of bidders show up.
- The company still plans to use some of the proceeds from the sale of Red Lobster to retire more debt.
Jul. 14, 2014, 1:27 PM
- Same-store sales at restaurant chains fell 0.1% in June on a 1.7% decline in traffic, according to Black Box Intelligence.
- The sub-par performance knocks down the argument that weakness in Q1 and for the early part of Q2 was largely due to weather factors.
- Restaurant Finance Monitor notes that the increase in quality of to-go meals by grocery store chains and pharmacies could be having an impact.
- Related stocks: CAKE, CBRL, DRI, EAT, PNRA, RRGB, RT, BWLD, THI, BDL, NATH, LUB, CHUY, BLMN, TXRH, DENN, BBRG, DFRG, BOBE, RUTH, IRG, DIN.
Jul. 8, 2014, 2:46 PM
- Darden Restaurants (DRI -1.6%) is in the beginning stages of a major overhaul with its Olive Garden concept, according to the WSJ.
- New menu items are being tested in select locations, while the chain's online-ordering system is being reworked from top to bottom.
- Darden has a goal to increase traffic of younger customer to Olive Garden for both dine-in and to-go services.
Jun. 30, 2014, 2:29 PM
- S&P weighs in on a plan by Darden Restaurants (DRI -0.9%) to use funds from the sale of Red Lobster to boost buybacks and dividends by keeping the company's ratings on watch for further action.
- The ratings agency is expected to issue further analysis and a possible downgrade after the Red Lobster deal closes.
- SA contributor The Value Investor has a breakdown of Darden's buybacks vs. debt repayment decision.
Jun. 30, 2014, 9:21 AM
- Darden Restaurants (DRI) launches a tender offer for up to $600M worth of its debt.
- The debt buyback is subject to the closing of the Red Lobster sale.
- DRI -0.9% premarket
Jun. 30, 2014, 7:07 AM
- A jump in beef prices has restaurant operators scrambling to avoid taking a hit on margins this year.
- While Chipotle has been able to pass on higher input costs to consumers, most chains are seeing consumer push back on price hikes.
- A new twist" Fast-food chains Carl's Jr. and Hardee's have introduced smaller-sized sandwiches to its menu to try to keep profits intact.
- Related stocks: CAKE, CBRL, CMG, DPZ, DRI, EAT, JACK, MCD, PNRA, RRGB, RT, SBUX, SONC, WEN, BWLD, THI, BDL, NATH, LUB, BKW, CHUY, BLMN, PZZA, TXRH, DENN, KKD, BBRG, DFRG, BOBE, RUTH, IRG, DIN.
- Previous: Beef prices could pressure restaurant margins
Jun. 20, 2014, 7:37 AM
- Management says the "significant adjustments" related to the sale of Red Lobster and the outlook for FY15 will be discussed during the firm's earnings call this morning,
- Darden earnings call webcast
Jun. 20, 2014, 7:31 AM
- Darden Restaurants (DRI) falls short of analysts estimates with its FQ4 report as weak traffic trends persists.
- Same-restaurant growth: Longhorn Steakhouse +2.4%, Specialty Restaurant Group +2.0%, Olive Garden -3.5%, Red Lobster -5.6%.
- All three restaurant concepts showed higher pricing during the quarter.
- Total restaurant labor costs +2.6% to $525.6M.
- DRI -3.1% premarket
Darden Restaurants Inc owns and operates dining restaurants. Some of its trade names are Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52, Eddie V's Prime Seafood, Wildfish Seafood Grille and Yard House.
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