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Oct 21, 2014

McDonald’s CEO acknowledges image problems after tough results

Oct 21 (Reuters) – McDonald’s Corp Chief Executive
Officer Don Thompson owned up to some corporate image problems
on Tuesday after it posted a nearly one-third drop in quarterly
profit and warned that its global restaurant sales would fall
again this month.

Stock in the fast-food chain, which Thompson conceded is
sometimes seen as little more than “a manufacturing plant,” was
down 0.6 percent at $91 in afternoon trading after reporting a
30 percent fall in third-quarter net income to $1.07 billion and
traffic declines in every major region.

Oct 21, 2014

Tough U.S. rivalries, China food scandal pound McDonald’s

Oct 21 (Reuters) – McDonald’s Corp’s – which has not
given investors many reasons to sing the fast-food chain’s “I’m
lovin’ it” jingle – on Tuesday said quarterly profit dropped by
nearly one-third and warned that global restaurant sales will
fall again in October.

Stock in the company, which attracted fewer customers during
the third quarter, was off 0.6 percent at $91.05 in early
trading.

Oct 10, 2014

Darden loses full board in activist sweep

ORLANDO/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Darden Restaurants Inc’s (DRI.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) entire board was ousted in a meeting on Friday by activist Starboard Value LP in a rare victory for dissident investors.

The win is a feather in the cap for Starboard, one of Darden’s largest investors with an 8.8 percent stake. It is uncommon for activist investors to win more than a few spots on company boards.

Oct 8, 2014

Darden at risk of losing board control in proxy vote: analysts

By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – Activist investor Starboard Value LP appears poised to gain control of Darden Restaurants Inc’s (DRI.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) board at the company’s annual shareholder meeting on Friday, analysts said.

“I think it’s likely that Starboard will get a majority,” said B. Espen Eckbo, who founded the Lindenauer Center for Corporate Governance at Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business, echoing the sentiment of several Wall Street analysts who cover the company best known for its Olive Garden chain.

Oct 8, 2014

Yum China sales recovery could take up to nine months -CEO

Oct 8 (Reuters) – Yum Brands Inc said on Wednesday
it expects China sales to bounce back strongly in 2015, but
cautioned that it likely faces a bumpy, multi-month recovery
from a recent supplier scandal that scared away diners in its
most important market.

Sales at established KFC and Pizza Hut restaurants in China
should improve during the current fourth quarter, but will still
be down year-over-year and batter 2014 earnings, Yum executives
said on a conference call with analysts.

Oct 7, 2014

Yum cuts 2014 profit forecast after food scare cuts China sales

Oct 7 (Reuters) – Yum Brands Inc, operator of KFC
and other restaurant chains, on Tuesday lowered its 2014
earnings forecast after same-store sales fell 14 percent in
China in the third quarter due to a food safety scare.

Sales in China, Yum’s No. 1 market for revenue and profit,
are expected to fall again in the fourth quarter at established
restaurants on continued fallout from allegations that a former
supplier used expired meat.

Sep 30, 2014

U.S. restaurant patrons support minimum wage hike -survey

LOS ANGELES, Sept 30 (Reuters) – While the U.S. restaurant
industry fights national and state efforts to increase the
minimum wage, a new survey released on Tuesday showed that 83
percent of restaurant patrons support raising it and adjusting
it annually for inflation.

The results come as two years of union-backed protests by
fast-food workers have put a spotlight on the plight of the
working poor and helped fuel a debate about the federal minimum
wage, which has been $7.25 since 2009.

Sep 26, 2014

Proxy advisers turn up heat in Darden Restaurants board brawl

By Lisa Baertlein and Ross Kerber

(Reuters) – Advisory firms Glass, Lewis & Co and Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) each have recommended that Darden Restaurants Inc investors back Starboard Value LP’s 12-director slate, which would oust the embattled company’s full board.

In an unusual move late on Thursday, smaller firm Egan-Jones Proxy Services temporarily withdrew its recommendation that shareholders vote for the eight director nominees put up by Darden, which is leaving spots open for Starboard candidates.

Sep 25, 2014

Glass Lewis, ISS back Starboard in Darden board battle

By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – Advisory firms Glass, Lewis & Co and Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) each have recommended that Darden Restaurants Inc (DRI.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) investors back Starboard Value LP’s 12-director slate, which would oust the embattled company’s full board.

Smaller firm Egan-Jones Proxy Services recommended voting for the eight director nominees put up by Darden, which is leaving spots open for Starboard candidates.

Sep 23, 2014

Starbucks buying full control of Japan unit for $914 million

By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Tuesday said it plans to buy the remaining 60.5 percent share of Starbucks Coffee Japan Ltd (2712.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) that it does not already own in a two-step deal valued at about $913.5 million.

Starbucks Japan has operated as a joint venture between Starbucks and its partner Sazaby League since 1995.

    • About Lisa

      "Lisa writes about restaurants and grocery stores. She is based in Los Angeles and previously has covered computer software, Internet companies, video games, prescription drugs and municipal bonds."
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