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Darden Restaurants, Inc. (DRI)

  • Nov. 29, 2014, 10:29 AM
    • Analysts with predict some gas stations in the U.S. will offer $2 per gallon gas by Christmas.
    • The last time the average price of gas in the U.S. was below $2 was in March of 2009.
    • Forecasts from economists vary widely on the overall gas benefit to consumers for Q4. The high end from the group is an outlook of $300 per household, while the low end is closer to $100.
    • Most analysts see an immediate lift for retail chains with large distribution channels. Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), Target (NYSE:TGT), Costco (NASDAQ:COST), Dollar General (NYSE:DG), Family Dollar (NYSE:FDO), Dollar Tree (NASDAQ:DLTR), Big Lots (NYSE:BIG), and Five Below (NASDAQ:FIVE) come to mind.
    • Airline stocks (JBLU, DAL, UAL, LUV, AAL, RJET, ALK, HA, ALGT, VA) have already ripped strong gains off the OPEC news, although some see even more long-term upside as forward fuel hedges get reworked.
    • A sustained period of low gas prices should lift restaurant stocks  (CAKE, CBRL, CMG, DNKN, DPZ, DRI, EAT, JACK, MCD, PNRA, RRGB, RT, SBUX, SONC, WEN, BWLD, THI, BDL, NATHLUB, BKW, CHUY, BLMN, PZZA, TXRH, DENN, KKD, BBRG, DFRG, BOBE, RUTH, IRG, DIN) say some analysts.
    • The gaming sector is (CZR, PNK, BYD, ISLE, CNTY, MCRI, MGM, NYNY) also an off-the-radar pick to bounce.
    | Nov. 29, 2014, 10:29 AM | 146 Comments
  • Nov. 18, 2014, 4:44 PM
    • CFO for the last eight years, Brad Richmond is out, effective March 2015, or sooner if a successor is found. Also exiting are Chief Human Resources Officer Daisy Ng and SVP Government and Community Affairs Bob McAdam.
    • In addition to the management changes, Darden (NYSE:DRI) is streamlining support staff, affecting (cutting) about 60 employees. Another 25 open positions will be eliminated as well.
    • In order to provide "greater line of sight for restaurant leadership teams," the company is eliminating one layer of field operations supervision for Olive Garden and LongHorn.
    • Finally, Darden will shut down its aviation department, ceasing flight operations immediately and putting its aircraft on the block.
    • Darden anticipates incurring one-time charges in FQ2 thanks to these changes.
    • Source: Press Release
    • Shares +2% after-hours
    | Nov. 18, 2014, 4:44 PM | 3 Comments
  • Nov. 18, 2014, 3:24 PM
    | Nov. 18, 2014, 3:24 PM | Comment!
  • Nov. 11, 2014, 7:47 AM
    • KeyCorp upgrades Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) to a Buy rating from Hold.
    • The investment firm thinks the overhaul underway at Darden sparked by Starboard Value's boardroom coup will increase shareholder value.
    • DRI +0.2% premarket.
    | Nov. 11, 2014, 7:47 AM | 1 Comment
  • Oct. 22, 2014, 12:01 PM
    | Oct. 22, 2014, 12:01 PM | Comment!
  • Oct. 16, 2014, 9:51 AM
    • Darden Restaurants (DRI -0.1%) reappoints former director Bill Simon back to its board of directors.
    • Simon is well-known in the retail world after serving as the CEO of Wal-Mart U.S.
    • Starboard Value backed the appointment.
    | Oct. 16, 2014, 9:51 AM | Comment!
  • Oct. 14, 2014, 9:43 AM
    • Darden Restaurants (DRI +1.6%) says its new Starboard-infused board has selected Jeffrey Smith as a non-executive Chairman of the Board.
    • Smith is the CEO and Chief Investment Officer at Starboard.
    • Gene Lee will be the interim CEO to replace Clarence Otis, effective immediately.
    • Lee previously served as the company's COO.
    | Oct. 14, 2014, 9:43 AM | 2 Comments
  • Oct. 10, 2014, 9:41 AM
    • Starboard Value has won all 12 seats on the Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) board of directors, according to the Orlando Business Journal.
    • Shares of DRI are up 1.7% after being halted temporarily.
    | Oct. 10, 2014, 9:41 AM | 2 Comments
  • Oct. 10, 2014, 9:22 AM
    • The votes are being counted this morning at the annual meeting of Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) shareholders as investors wait to see if Starboard Value gains control of the restaurant chain operator.
    • In an interesting twist, Chairman Charles Ledsinger is giving the presentation for the company instead of CEO Clarence Otis who is MIA, according to an Orlando Sentinel reporter.
    • Most analysts thinks Starboard will triumph in the proxy battle.
    | Oct. 10, 2014, 9:22 AM | 2 Comments
  • Oct. 9, 2014, 8:21 AM
    • Shareholders of Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) will get their say after hearing the restaurant chain operator and Starboard Value trade barbs for close to a year.
    • A vote on new members of the board of directors is set for Friday at Darden's annual meeting.
    • KeyBanc forecasts a "high probability" that Starboard nominees will win a majority of the seats to give the hedge fund control of the board.
    • Full Starboard Value thesis on transforming Darden (.pdf)
    | Oct. 9, 2014, 8:21 AM | 1 Comment
  • Oct. 2, 2014, 7:08 AM
    • Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) releases same-restaurant sales growth numbers for September.
    • Fiscal September 2015 same-restaurant: Olive Garden +0.6%; Longhorn Steakhouse +3.2%; The Capital Grille +6.4%; Yard House +3.8%; Seasons 52 +1.3%; Bahama Breeze -0.3%; Eddie V's +4.0%.
    • The company says it expects FQ2 EPS to fall in the upper range of its previously announced range of $0.26-$0.28.
    | Oct. 2, 2014, 7:08 AM | 1 Comment
  • Sep. 26, 2014, 9:23 AM
    • Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) responds to the backing of proxy firm ISS of Starboard Value's slate of nominees to the board of the company.
    • Reciting some of its same positions from over the last month, Darden says ceding full control to Starboard is a losing proposition for shareholders.
    | Sep. 26, 2014, 9:23 AM | Comment!
  • Sep. 25, 2014, 11:00 AM
    • Proxy firm Glass Lewis recommends to shareholders at Darden Restaurants (DRI -0.6%) that they elect all 12 of Starboard Value's nominees to the board.
    • A long term loss of shareholder value at Darden is cited by Glass Lewis in making its recommendation.
    | Sep. 25, 2014, 11:00 AM | Comment!
  • Sep. 23, 2014, 1:41 PM
    • Traffic to quick-service restaurants was flat for the year ending on June 30, according to data compiled by the NPD Group.
    • Establishments with an average check price of $10-$20 saw more traffic growth than sub-$10 outlets.
    • Fine dining restaurants saw a 3% increase in visits over the period.
    • The research firm says "cultural and economic phenomenon" have created a shift in consumer dining habits that may be permanent.
    | Sep. 23, 2014, 1:41 PM | 4 Comments
  • Sep. 18, 2014, 8:36 AM
    • Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) sends a letter to shareholders warning that Starboard gaining control of the board would be "significantly disruptive and destabilizing" in light of the progress it thinks the restaurant chains are making.
    • Proxy votes will be tallied at Darden's annual shareholder meeting on October 10.
    • Starboard-Darden timeline
    | Sep. 18, 2014, 8:36 AM | 3 Comments
  • Sep. 17, 2014, 10:27 AM
    • No major shocker, but Darden Restaurants (DRI +0.4%) urges shareholders to vote for its board nominees over the full slate put up by Starboard.
    • Starboard has hammered away at Darden and is looking to gain enough board seats to implement sweeping changes with the Olive Garden chain.
    | Sep. 17, 2014, 10:27 AM | 1 Comment
DRI vs. ETF Alternatives
Company Description
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.
Sector: Services
Industry: Restaurants
Country: United States