Fri, Jan. 9, 1:38 PM
- Restaurant same-store sales in Q4 rose at the fastest pace in six years, according to Black Box Intelligence.
- Same-store sales were 3.1% during December to accelerate past the 1.6% rise seen in November.
- If the slump in Q1 is backed out, restaurant comps for the year were up 1.3% after being negative in 2013.
- BBI notes lower fuel costs for consumers is a major factor in the return to growth.
- Earlier this week: Sonic Dec. comps +8.5%.
- Restaurant stocks: CAKE, CBRL, CMG, DPZ, DRI, EAT, JACK, PNRA, RRGB, RT, SBUX, SONC, WEN, BWLD, BDL, NATH, LUB, CHUY, BLMN, PZZA, TXRH, DENN, KKD, BBRG, DFRG, BOBE, RUTH, IRG, DIN, HABT, NDLS, PLKI, LOCO, YUM, KKD, BOBE, TAST, GTIM, FRSH, COSI, FRS, PBPB, FRGI, QSR, CBRL, BLMN, MFRD, ZOES, MCD, YUM.
Fri, Jan. 9, 8:35 AM
- The House passed a bill to redefine a full-time worker under the Affordable Care Act to 40 hours a week from 30 hours.
- The legislation could impact millions of workers as companies adjust hours and employee policies around the issue.
- The measure was passed by a vote total of 252-172.
- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has indicated the bill will see a vote in his chamber.
- The White House has threatened to veto the bill on its view it will reduce the number of workers covered by healthcare.
- Most industry groups within the restaurant and food industry have issued support for the legislation.
- Related stocks: CAKE, CBRL, CMG, DNKN, DPZ, DRI, EAT, JACK, MCD, PNRA, RRGB, RT, SBUX, SONC, WEN, BWLD, BDL, NATH, LUB, QSR, CHUY, BLMN, PZZA, TXRH, DENN, KKD, BBRG, DFRG, BOBE, RUTH, IRG, DIN, CASY, IMKTA, SFS, KR, WMK, SVU, WFM, SWY, VLGEA, TFM,NGVC, BIG, ZU, TUES, WMT, PSMT, COST, TGT, DLTR, BURL, FDO, DG, FRED, WBA, RAD, CVS, HABT, NDLS, PBPB.
Thu, Jan. 8, 2:47 PM| 4 Comments
Thu, Jan. 8, 1:38 PM
- The National Retail Federation is urging Congress to pass H.R. 30 to restore the traditional 40-hour work week standard for healthcare benefits.
- Healthcare benefits as defined under the Affordable Care Act are applied at the 30-hour level.
- CBO estimates on the impact of H.R. 30 (.pdf)
- Related stocks: MCD, QSR, WEN, JACK, DNKN, SONC.
Thu, Jan. 8, 5:02 AM
- McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) Japanese affiliate is again under fire after reporting past incidents in which customers complained there were pieces of metal and plastic in food, just a day after the chain said a human tooth was discovered in its fries.
- Shares in McDonald’s Japan fell for a seventh day in Tokyo trading today, their longest losing streak since 2009.
Wed, Jan. 7, 7:59 AM
- McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) issues more apologies in Japan after the latest incident in a string of food safety issues which have plagued the chain.
- The erosion of the brand in the region has been an ongoing concern.
- Shares of McDonald's Japan have fallen 6.5% since Christmas with the company expected to post its first annual loss since 2003.
- Japan is the second biggest market for McDonald's.
Wed, Jan. 7, 4:28 AM
- McDonald's Japan is facing yet another food scandal after a 3 to 4 cm piece of vinyl was found in a Chicken McNugget sold at an outlet in the country.
- Last summer, McDonald's Japan switched its sourcing of nuggets to three plants in Thailand after a meat supplier scandal in China hit McDonald’s restaurants in both countries.
- McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) owns 50% of the Japanese restaurant chain holding entity.
Mon, Jan. 5, 11:17 AM
- Irish beef producers have been given the green light to export to the U.S. if certain criteria are met.
- EU nations have not been prohibited from exporting to the U.S. since 1998 under the tight restrictions from the USDA.
- A broader expansion of U.S. beef imports could bring some relief to prices.
- Related stocks: TSN, LUK, OTCQX:JBSAY, WEN, MCD, CMG, TXRH, BLMN, RUTH.
Dec. 31, 2014, 11:33 AM
- Consumer spending: More consumers say they are willing to trade-up to a traditional dining spot from fast-casual than trade-down to a fast-food option, according to Technomic. The revelation takes some of the steam away from the argument that lower gas prices will boost traffic at major fast-food chains.
- IPOs: Profitable 2014 launches by Zoes Kitchen (ZOES -0.2%) and Habit Burger (HABT -0.5%) could inspire other private chains to go public. Shake Stack (Pending:SHAK) got an early jump by filing this week for an IPO.
- Labor costs: Analysts see a risk to profitability in the sector from the wave of minimum wage laws set to go into effect over the next year. Some analysts think President Obama will push for federal legislation with the issue hard for election-minded Republicans to oppose strongly.
- Fast-casual pizza: A breakout of a fast-casual pizza concept is widely expected in 2015 (candidates).
- Chipotle: Another +30% run for the Mexican chain off of sizzling comps leaves it with limited upside, according to some analysts. Chipotle (CMG +0.8%) execs don't agree, noting during the Q3 earnings call (transcript) that enormous upside exists to maximize peak transactions per hour (350-400). Beef, cheese, and avocado pricing will be key for CMG next year as well.
- Restaurant stocks: CAKE, CBRL, DNKN, DPZ, DRI, EAT, JACK, MCD, PNRA, RRGB, RT, SBUX, SONC, WEN, BWLD, BDL, NATH, LUB, QSR, CHUY, BLMN, PZZA, TXRH, DENN, KKD, BBRG, DFRG, BOBE, RUTH, IRG, DIN.
Dec. 26, 2014, 6:59 AM
- Starting in January, McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) customers in Japan will be able to order french fries in all sizes again, after the fast-food chain limited sales to small servings because of import delays.
- Fry rationing and a meat supplier scandal has given McDonald's Japan a tough year.
- The company in October forecast its first annual loss in 11 years, and reported that sales at outlets opened at least a year fell 12% in November, down for the 10th month in a row.
Dec. 24, 2014, 9:57 AM
- The restaurant industry will run up against soft comps in January and February due to last year's winter storms which were much worse than normal.
- Restaurant same-store sales will rise just over 2% for the full year, according to an estimate from the co-founder of the NRN-MillerPulse tracking survey.
- Technomic sees a 3% growth in restaurant comps in 2015, while Fitch Ratings has an outlook for 2% to 3%.
- On the cost side, commodity prices for chicken, cheese, wheat, and pork are all expected to moderate. However, beef prices are seen increasing 4% to 8%.
- Minimum wage increases in many state kick in on January 1 which could impact the bottom line for many chains.
- Fresh IPOs, concept acquisitions, and leveraged buyouts care expected to be major themes in 2015, according to analysts.
- CEOs on the hot seat include Don Thompson at McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) and Nigel Travis at Dunkin' Brands (NASDAQ:DNKN).
- Restaurant stocks: CAKE, CBRL, CMG, DPZ, DRI, EAT, JACK, PNRA, RRGB, RT, SBUX, SONC, WEN, BWLD, THI, BDL, NATH, LUB, BKW, CHUY, BLMN, PZZA, TXRH, DENN, KKD, BBRG, DFRG, BOBE, RUTH, IRG, DIN, HABT, NDLS, PLKI, LOCO, YUM, KKD, BOBE, TAST, GTIM, FRSH, COSI, FRS, PBPB, FRGI, QSR.
Dec. 24, 2014, 3:15 AM
- Minimum wage increases across the U.S. will prompt Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) to adjust base salaries at 1,434 stores, impacting about a third of its U.S. locations, as minimum wage hikes hit 21 states on or around Jan. 1.
- Wal-Mart and other employers, such as Target (NYSE:TGT) and McDonalds (NYSE:MCD), make these adjustments each year, but growing attention to the issue has expanded the scope of the change. Thirteen U.S. states lifted the minimum wage in 2014, up from 10 in 2013 and 8 in 2012.
Dec. 16, 2014, 11:23 AM
- Shares of McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) spike higher with rumors circling around indicating an activist investor is going to step in to pressure management for changes.
- This time around the speculation focuses on Bill Ackman as being the new McDonald's gadfly.
- Last week, McDonald's laid out its version of a strategic plan to grow earnings.
- MCDS +1.9% on a big jump in volume.
Dec. 10, 2014, 11:29 AM
- McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) execs were on the hot seat at an investor meeting after a string of disappointing global sales reports.
- CEO Don Thompson promises "comprehensive" changes after acknowledging some failures with the Dollar Menu and menu overload.
- Top priorities for the chain will be winning the burger war and becoming a favored family destination once again by tying into community events.
- The disparity between premium pricing and the lower pricing points is seen as a weakness which needs to be fixed.
- Store execution will be improved by "re-inventing" its training regiment and reallocating labor.
- McDonald's will introduce a new slimmed-down menu shortly that it says will help improve speed of service in stores and for drive-through customers.
- McDonald's Investor Discussion webcast (live)
Dec. 9, 2014, 1:32 PM
- McDonald's (MCD -1%) will broaden the Create Your Taste initiative to 2K U.S. stores (14.3% of total) in an effort to recharge its brand.
- Customers use a touchscreen kiosk to customize their orders and are delivered food at their table.
- Conspiracy theory: The company has denied speculation that it aims to use kiosks and robots to lower labor costs.
- What to watch: Though the strategy puts the restaurant chain closer to the build-your-own concepts at some fast-casual stars such as Chipotle, kitchen execution and speed of service could be challenges, warn industry insiders.
- Previously: Weak global comps for McDonald's across major segments (Dec. 8, 2014)
Dec. 8, 2014, 8:37 AM
- McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) warns on Q4 results after November sales come in weak.
- The company sees "significant pressure" on company-owned and franchised margins.
- A previously-disclosed supplier issue in China is expected to be a $0.07-$0.10 drag.
- McDonald's also forecasts a $0.07-$0.09 hit from foreign currency translations to the strong U.S. dollar.
- Previously: Weak global comps for McDonald's across major segments
- MCD -2.88% to $93.54.
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