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.
Earnings are somewhat ahead of preliminary results released last month thanks to an arcane accounting adjustment.
Company reaffirms its 2014 outlook for adjusted EBITDA of $390M-$400M, "despite the adverse impact from winter storms during the first quarter" [they have to be kidding] Adjusted EPS is still expected at $0.34-$0.36. Average same-restaurant-sales growth of 2.5-3.5% at Company-operated stores (was 1.9% in 2013). Company-operated restaurant margin improvement of 140-160 basis points.
Management expects to continue to sell certain Company-owned restaurants to franchisees. Another 415 restaurants are on schedule to be sold by the end of Q1 for total proceeds to about $235M. Agreements are inked on another 174 restaurants.
8.7M shares repurchased during 2013 at average price of $7.93 each. Pursuant to the Dutch Tender offer, 29.7M shares purchased in February at average price of $9.25 each.
Due to the January preliminary release, there will be no CC today.
Three Senate Democrats have broken away from Majority Leader Harry Reid's $10.10/hour line in the sand on minimum wage legislation.
Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, and Mark Warner of Virginia have all tipped off that they think there could be some room to negotiate over the amount of an increase over the current federal minimum wage of $7.25/hour. The GOP likes the status quo, but is viewed as likely to give some ground in an election year.
Federal minimum wage legislation could create higher costs in the retail and restaurants sectors as companies adjust to the new higher floor.
Last week, Gap made a preemptive move to raise its own hourly wage in a development that stirred the pot a little bit.