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
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
- Guidance from Darden Restaurants (DRI) is conspicuously missing from the company's FQ4 earnings press release.
- 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
Jun. 20, 2014, 7:26 AM
Jun. 20, 2014, 7:06 AM
Jun. 19, 2014, 5:30 PM
Jun. 2, 2014, 11:34 AM
- Improved traffic at restaurants chains in April helped boost the Restaurant Performance Index monitored by the National Restaurant Association by 0.3% to 101.7.
- The Expectations Index, which measures the six-month outlook for operators, improved 0.2% to 102.2 to mark the highest level for the index in two years.
- Restaurant 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
May 30, 2014, 9:16 AM
- Hedgeye's Howard Penney thinks Darden Restaurants (DRI) can be a long-term turnaround story if Starboard is successful in landing board seats.
- He writes that Starboard isn't the stereotypical activist investor out looking to make a quick buck.
- The upside is so high with Darden it gives investors a "generational opportunity," according to Penney.
May 21, 2014, 8:37 PM
- Starboard Value plans to launch a fight to take over the board of Darden Restaurants (DRI), according to the Wall Street Journal.
- The hedge fund wasn't expected to stay quiet after Darden decided to sell Red Lobster in a move Starboard thinks destroys shareholder value.
- Darden is trying to push the Red Lobster sale through without a shareholder vote.
May 16, 2014, 3:33 PM
- Starboard Value opposes the sale by Darden Restaurants (DRI -4%) of Red Lobster in no uncertain terms.
- The hedge fund says by its calculation a deal price of $2.1B destroys close to $800M of Darden shareholder value.
- "It appears that Darden has instead sold Red Lobster in a rushed transaction at a severe discount," wrote Starboard CEO Jeffrey Smith.
- Smith beat the over-under on a Starboard bashing of Darden by a few hours.
May 16, 2014, 8:32 AM
- It's a see-saw early session for Darden Restaurants (DRI) following news the company will sell Red Lobster for $2.1B.
- The company is taking the unusual measure of funneling the proceeds back to buybacks and debt retirement which is a tip-off to some that more dramatic changes are on the way.
- The deal price seems a bit low to some restaurant industry analysts, although the sale comes amid sluggish traffic patterns at Red Lobster. There's also the difficulty of uncoupling the combined Red Lobster-Olive Garden units.
- What to watch: Darden CEO Clarence Otis has been the target of activist investors and analysts for quite a while on accusations of mismanagement. If early reaction is any indication, Otis is still firmly on the hot seat.
- DRI -1.3% premarket
May 16, 2014, 8:10 AM
May 14, 2014, 3:52 PM
- Darden Restaurants (DRI -0.9%) CEO Clarence Otis is on the hot seat again with critics harping on the amount of time the exec spends attending board meetings for companies other than Darden.
- Otis earned close to $500K for sitting on the boards at Verizon and VF Corp. and all told had 76 board meetings outside of Darden that he was obligated to attend last year.
- The busy schedule for Otis comes amid slumping sales trends at Darden's Red Lobster and Olive Garden chains.
- What really has some shareholders steamed is that Darden paid to fly Otis to many of the outside meetings on the company's jets.
May 9, 2014, 11:24 AM
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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