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Jan 23, 2014

Starbucks’ growth cooled in latest quarter

By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Thursday reported that sales at established stores in its U.S.-dominated Americas region cooled more than analysts expected in its latest quarter as consumers spent more time holiday shopping online than at physical stores.

The news initially depressed shares in the world’s biggest coffee chain. But the stock then rose 0.9 percent to $74.02 as the company raised its fiscal 2014 earnings per share forecast to a range of $2.59 to $2.67, from $2.55 to $2.65 previously.

Jan 23, 2014

McDonald’s gets fewer visits in quarter, expects weak January

By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – McDonald’s Corp (MCD.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) reported weaker-than-expected quarterly sales at established restaurants on Thursday as fewer diners frequented the fast-food chain, and warned that sales would again fall short of analysts’ expectations in January.

The world’s biggest restaurant chain by revenue has reported disappointing sales for five straight quarters, hurt by self-inflicted operational stumbles, weak demand and intense competition from rivals such as Wendy’s Co (WEN.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Burger King Worldwide Inc (BKW.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

Jan 21, 2014

Peltz to join Mondelez board, ends push for PepsiCo deal

By Aditi Shrivastava and Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – Mondelez International Inc (MDLZ.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), maker of Cadbury chocolate and Oreo cookies, on Tuesday added activist investor Nelson Peltz to its board in a compromise agreement that ends his campaign to have PepsiCo Inc (PEP.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) take over the company.

Analysts now expect the influential investor to separately lobby each company to improve their results.

Jan 21, 2014

Activist investor turns up heat on Darden CEO

Jan 21 (Reuters) – Starboard Value has urged Darden
Restaurants Inc to delay the spinoff of its struggling
Red Lobster chain, becoming the second activist investor in as
many weeks to call on the company to rethink its strategy for
improving results.

The calls for change from two investors holding almost 8
percent of Darden shares has put intense pressure on Chairman
and Chief Executive Clarence Otis.

Dec 19, 2013

Darden, under pressure, will spin off or sell Red Lobster

By Lisa Baertlein and Aditi Shrivastava

(Reuters) – Darden Restaurants Inc (DRI.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said it would spin off or sell its struggling Red Lobster chain, bowing to pressure from hedge fund Barington Capital Group, and warned that earnings would fall more than expected this year due to weak demand.

Barington had been pushing for Darden to split into two companies – one that operates its mature Olive Garden and Red Lobster chains and another for its growing brands such as LongHorn Steakhouse and Seasons 52.

Dec 9, 2013

McDonald’s November sales miss as U.S. weakness persists

By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – McDonald’s Corp (MCD.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Monday reported another sluggish month of sales at established restaurants, results that suggest the famed hamburger chain is losing U.S. market share to rivals.

The fast-food chain, the world’s largest by revenue, has struggled for more than a year to significantly increase those monthly sales, hindered by slack demand and intense competition for the business of budget-conscious diners.

Dec 4, 2013

Diners not biting on KFC’s China revival campaign

NEW YORK/SHANGHAI, Dec 4 (Reuters) – Yum Brands Inc’s
KFC website in China trumpets the slogan “Trust in every

That message is part of the company’s new “I Commit”
campaign intended to reassure customers in its largest market,
who have cut back on visits since Chinese media reports a year
ago about excessive antibiotic use by a few KFC suppliers.

Dec 2, 2013

Yum’s November KFC China sales flat, sees 2014 earnings rebound

By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – Yum Brands Inc (YUM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said November sales at established KFC restaurants in China, its top market, failed to grow despite a successful half-priced chicken promotion, and it forecast a return to earnings per share growth in 2014.

China accounts for more than half of Yum’s operating profit. Its shares have risen 14 percent since the start of November on expectations that China’s KFC restaurant sales are poised for a rebound.

Nov 28, 2013

Stores open early on Thanksgiving but shoppers in no rush

Nov 28 (Reuters) – Some early U.S. shoppers headed to stores
on Thanksgiving Day in search of discounted holiday gifts on a
day long reserved for American families to bond over turkey and

Kmart, Old Navy and Lord & Taylor were some of the stores
that opened their doors on Thursday morning, as each company did
last year. Macy’s Inc and a slew of other stores are
opening later on Thanksgiving for the first time ever in a
bare-knuckle brawl for a bigger slice of holiday sales.

Nov 28, 2013

Eyeing holiday sales, more U.S. retailers to open on Thanksgiving

By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – Macy’s Inc (M.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and a slew of other U.S. retailers are opening on Thanksgiving for the first time ever in a bare-knuckled brawl for a bigger slice of overall holiday sales.

But it might not be so easy to lure most Americans from their turkey and football – particularly if the weather is foul.

    • 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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