May 2, 2014, 9:28 AM
- A report from Technomic indicates the fast-casual segment of the restaurant industry increased sales by 11% and unit count by 8% last year to easily outdistance the average growth in the sector.
- Panera (PNRA), Chipotle (CMG), and Panda Express (private) all generated double-digit sales growth during the period.
- The trend hasn't gone unnoticed by fast-food operators. Taco Bell (YUM) plans to launch two new concepts - U.S. Taco and Urban Taproom - in California, while KFC (YUM) is experimenting with KFC Eleven. Red Lobster (DRI) is also active in testing the segment with its Seaside Express concept.
Apr. 28, 2014, 2:51 PM
- The restaurant industry is watching with interest a late push by waiters and bartenders in Seattle to drum up support against a proposed $15-per-hour minimum wage law in the state.
- The group fears a minimum wage law hike will significantly lower the level of tips servers receive from customers.
- The big picture: The potential for minimum wage increases - either on a federal level or state by state - has been a hot topic in dissecting restaurant stocks. Some analysts see a significant bottom line pinch as companies have a difficult time passing on the extra costs to consumers in the form of higher prices.
- Related 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.
Apr. 22, 2014, 11:30 AM| 1 Comment
Apr. 21, 2014, 10:25 AM
- Darden Restaurants (DRI -0.8%) could be the target of a P-E buyout, speculates Restaurant Finance Monitor. The move might make sense with many activist investors pushing Darden on the same issues.
- If a consortium of private equity groups decided to make the move, the buyout would be the largest in restaurant industry history.
- Analysts note the divestiture of Red Lobster makes the company more attractive for a new buyer.
Apr. 2, 2014, 3:44 PM
- Starboard Value released yesterday to investors a detail analysis of how management at Darden Restaurants (DRI +1.1%) isn't working in the best interest of shareholders.
- The firm doesn't pull any punches as it alleges execs at Darden of looking to enrich themselves through the Red Lobster separation plan.
- Crunching the numbers: Darden's DRI real estate portfolio is estimated to be worth close to $4B. Starboard thinks a hasty Red Lobster separation would destroy $850M in value.
- Full Starboard investor presentation (.pdf)
Apr. 2, 2014, 1:17 PM
- The National Retail Federation wants Congress to pass the bipartisan Save American Workers Act to amend the Affordable Care Act’s definition of full-time employment from 30 hours per week to 40 hours a week.
- The measure could have important consequences for the restaurant industry.
- Restaurant stocks: CAKE, CBRL, CMG, DNKN, DPZ, DRI, EAT, JACK, MCD, PNRA, SONC, WEN, THI, BKW, CHUY, BLMN, PZZA, DENN, KKD, BBRG, DFRG, BOBE, RUTH, IRG, DIN
Apr. 1, 2014, 8:44 AM
- Starboard Value is out with an appeal to shareholders of Darden Restaurants (DRI) to hold a special meeting to discuss the proposed Red Lobster spinoff.
- The firm is emphatic that shareholder value could be destroyed with the rushing of the Red Lobster separation by Darden management with "misaligned" interests.
Mar. 31, 2014, 1:40 PM
- The National Restaurant Association's Restaurant Performance Index stood above 100 for the 12th straight month after ending February at 100.5.
- The index dropped 20 bps from the level seen in January. On a year-over-year comparison, the index was 0.6% higher.
- "Looking forward, operators are generally optimistic about sales gains in the months ahead, although they aren’t as bullish about the overall economy," notes the industry association.
- Related stocks: CAKE, CBRL, CMG, DNKN, DPZ, DRI, EAT, JACK, MCD, PNRA, RRGB, RT, SBUX, SONC, WEN, BWLD, THI, BDL, NATH, BKW, BLMN, PZZA, TXRH, DENN, KKD, BBRG, DFRG, BOBE, RUTH, IRG, DIN.
Mar. 27, 2014, 3:45 AM
- CEO salaries at companies that generate over $8B in revenues rose 4.1% to a median $9.8M in 2013 as shareholder activism kept a lid on pay, a WSJ-commissioned survey shows.
- While the increase was slightly greater than in 2012, it was well well under the median 25% shareholder return for the companies looked at.
- Clarence Otis of Darden Restaurants (DRI), which is a focus of investor activism, saw his pay drop 24% even as returns increased 4%, and while the compensation of Cisco's (CSCO) John Chambers jumped 49%, returns soared 65%. GameStop's (GME) Paul Raines enjoyed a 92% boost in his salary even though returns rose just 5.4%.
- Other relevant tickers: BBBY, ORCL, NKE, VIAB
Mar. 26, 2014, 12:08 PM| Comment!
Mar. 21, 2014, 7:31 AM
- The company estimates EPS was hit by about $0.13, with $0.07 of that from severe winter and $0.06 related to the implementation of its new strategic plan.
- Winter weather? Same-Restaurant Traffic at Olive Garden -4.6% in January, -4.9% in February. For Red Lobster, -18.7% and -11.9%, for LongHorn Steakhouse +0.7% and -0.4%.
- Full year fiscal 2014 guidance of a 15-20% decline in EPS, excluding any costs from the new strategic plan.
- Press release, FQ3 results
- DRI -0.2%
Mar. 21, 2014, 7:09 AM
Mar. 21, 2014, 7:01 AM| Comment!
Mar. 21, 2014, 12:05 AM
Mar. 20, 2014, 5:30 PM
Mar. 14, 2014, 9:32 AM| Comment!
DRI vs. ETF Alternatives
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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