Lisa's Feed
Mar 3, 2014

Activist investor says Darden CEO has lost its confidence

By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – The activist investor seeking to split Darden Restaurants Inc into two companies said on Monday it has lost confidence in its chief executive’s ability to run the company.

Barington Capital Group LP wants Darden to put its more-mature Olive Garden and Red Lobster brands into one company and its higher-growth chains, including LongHorn Steakhouse and the Capital Grille, into another. It also has called on the company to create a publicly traded real estate investment trust (REIT) to unlock the value of its property holdings.

Mar 3, 2014

Most investors in survey back Pepsi split; Buffett opposes

LOS ANGELES, March 3 (Reuters) – Investor Warren Buffett and
some Wall Street fund managers are divided on activist Nelson
Peltz’s renewed proposal to split PepsiCo Inc’s robust
snacks division from its beverage business.

The packaged food and beverage industry has been dogged by
lackluster demand, leading growth-seeking activist investors to
demand spinoffs and deep cost cuts to “unlock” value.

Mar 3, 2014

Buffett opposes Peltz’s Pepsi split plan; surveyed investors like

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Investor Warren Buffett and some Wall Street fund managers are divided on activist Nelson Peltz’s renewed proposal to split PepsiCo Inc’s (PEP.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) robust snacks division from its beverage business.

The packaged food and beverage industry has been dogged by lackluster demand, leading growth-seeking activist investors to demand spinoffs and deep cost cuts to “unlock” value.

Mar 3, 2014

Ellen DeGeneres’ Oscar ‘selfie’ crashes Twitter, breaks record

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Is this the year the “selfie” stole the Oscars?

A self-portrait of host Ellen DeGeneres and stars including Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper taken during Hollywood’s annual Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday quickly became the most shared photo ever on Twitter.

Mar 3, 2014

Ellen’s Oscar ‘selfie’ crashes Twitter, breaks record

LOS ANGELES, March 2 (Reuters) – Is this the year the
“selfie” stole the Oscars?

A self-portrait of host Ellen DeGeneres and stars including
Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper taken during
Hollywood’s annual Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday quickly
became the most shared photo ever on Twitter.

Feb 23, 2014

Big consumer companies cut costs, Wall Street wants bolder steps

BOCA RATON, Florida (Reuters) – Investors are growing impatient with the makers of global brands like Cadbury chocolate, Campbell Soup and Tide laundry detergent, as these stalwart consumer products companies try to boost profits through cost cuts and brand makeovers while smaller rivals take risks and grab market share.

Organic and soy milk seller WhiteWave Foods Co (WWAV.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), privately owned yogurt maker Chobani Greek and Keurig coffee brewer seller Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc (GMCR.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) have shaken up their categories and chalked up enviable growth while big companies such as ConAgra Foods Inc (CAG.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Danone S.A. (DANO.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and General Mills Inc (GIS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) struggle.

Feb 20, 2014

Avon bets Hispanics, smaller selection, price hikes can fix U.S. sales

NEW YORK/BOCA RATON, Fla (Reuters) – Avon Products Inc (AVP.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) hopes higher prices, a growing Hispanic market and smaller selection of beauty products will help it reverse years of declines in U.S. sales, top executives said on Thursday.

The company’s North American sales have fallen by half since 2007, and last year, the size of its army of Avon Ladies sales representatives, shrank 15 percent.

Feb 19, 2014

Nespresso takes aim at Green Mountain’s Keurig with big-cup brewer

, Feb 19 (Reuters) – Nespresso is launching
a new single-serve coffee brewer that makes larger
American-sized portions, putting its Swiss parent Nestle
in direct competition with U.S. market leader Green
Mountain Coffee Roasters.

Nestle, the world’s largest food company, said on Wednesday
its new VertuoLine system will go on sale in the United States
and Canada this week. It will make larger cups of coffee as well
as the smaller espressos, popular in Europe, for which the brand
is already known.

Feb 18, 2014

Mondelez details margin progress amid investor pressure

BOCA RATON, Florida (Reuters) – Mondelez International Inc (MDLZ.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) sought on Tuesday to convince investors that it can increase profit margins in the coming years despite volatile emerging markets, days after a second activist investor disclosed a stake in the maker of Cadbury chocolate and Oreo cookies.

Mondelez reported a string of disappointing quarterly results since it was split from Kraft Foods Group (KRFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) in October 2012. Investors have called on the company to slash costs as the packaged food industry struggles to offset tepid global demand, volatile emerging market economies and changing consumer tastes.

Feb 13, 2014

Whole Foods says competition cooling sales, shares tumble

By Lisa Baertlein and Phil Wahba

(Reuters) – Competition is cooling Whole Foods Market Inc’s (WFM.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) red-hot run, and the largest U.S. organic and natural food retailer stunned investors on Wednesday by cutting its 2014 sales forecast for the second time in three months.

Shares in the chain dropped 7.4 percent to $51.35 in extended trading.

Whole Foods has for years defied the U.S. consumer spending slowdown that has sent Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Kroger Co (KR.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and other grocers scrambling to convince shoppers to spend more.

    • 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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