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Nov 1, 2012

Starbucks raises profit forecast, to speed store openings

By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) raised its profit forecast for the current fiscal year and plans to speed up new store openings, as strength in its latest quarter and new products, gave the company confidence not seen by many of its peers in the U.S. restaurant industry.

Shares of the world’s biggest coffee chain jumped 7.4 percent to $49.55 in extended trading.

Oct 25, 2012

California’s GMO labeling proposal in tight race

LOS ANGELES/KANSAS CITY, Oct 25 (Reuters) – Heavy
advertising spending by Monsanto Co and others opposed
to a California ballot proposal to require labels on grocery
products containing genetically modified organisms is paying
off, according to a new poll that shows the measure has slipped
into a virtual tie.

Forty-four percent of California voters now support the
measure, while 42 percent oppose it and 13 percent are
undecided, according to the latest USC Dornsife/Los Angeles
Times Poll released on Thursday.

Oct 25, 2012

Dunkin’ Brands raises 2012 view as competition brews

By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc (DNKN.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Thursday raised its full-year profit forecast after share buybacks and steady sales at U.S. Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants bolstered third-quarter results amid stiff competition in its core U.S. market.

Shares in the company, which gets almost 75 percent of revenue and more than 80 percent of profit from its domestic Dunkin’ Donuts cafes, were up 1.6 percent in midday trading on the Nasdaq.

Oct 24, 2012

Chili’s parent says sales cooling, shares fall 10 pct

Oct 24 (Reuters) – Chili’s Grill & Bar parent Brinker
International Inc on Wednesday said a cool-down in sales
at established restaurants was stretching into the current
quarter, sending its shares down more than 10 percent.

The Dallas-based company, which also owns the Maggiano’s
Little Italy chain, also reported a fiscal first-quarter profit
that just missed Wall Street’s estimate and issued a
second-quarter earnings forecast below analysts’ target.

Oct 20, 2012

McDonald’s sales growth cools, chilled by competition

By Lisa Baertlein and Jessica Wohl

(Reuters) – McDonald’s Corp (MCD.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) posted its worst quarterly restaurant sales growth performance in nine years on Friday, lifting the curtain on the fast-food industry’s ruthless fight for customers in a weak economy.

The world’s biggest fast-food chain is battling more than the bleak global economy that is curbing appetites for purchases of its hamburgers, salads and smoothies. Resurgent chains like Burger King Worldwide Inc (BKW.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Yum Brand Inc’s (YUM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) Taco Bell now are challenging McDonald’s in the United States with revamped menus, celebrity endorsers and a renewed focus on low-priced food.

Oct 19, 2012

McDonald’s sales growth cools, restaurant stocks fall

By Lisa Baertlein and Jessica Wohl

(Reuters) – McDonald’s Corp (MCD.N: Quote, Profile, Research) posted its worst quarterly restaurant sales growth performance in nine years, signalling broad pressure on an industry where resurgent chains like Burger King and Taco Bell are fighting aggressively for diners who are spending less to eat out.

The world’s biggest fast-food chain also reported on Friday its second quarter in a row of earnings that missed Wall Street’s estimates. McDonald’s said sales at established restaurants, a closely watched gauge of restaurant performance, are down so far this month.

Oct 19, 2012

McDonald’s sales growth weakens, shares fall

By Lisa Baertlein and Jessica Wohl

(Reuters) – McDonald’s Corp (MCD.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) missed profit expectations for the second quarter in a row as sales at established restaurants grew at their slowest pace in more than nine years because of stepped-up competition and a weak global economy.

The world’s biggest fast food chain also said sales at existing restaurants have fallen so far in October.

Oct 18, 2012

Chipotle profit, forecast disappoint, shares drop

By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc (CMG.N: Quote, Profile, Research) said on Thursday that restaurant sales growth would cool in 2013 and some analysts said that might signal the end of the hyper growth investors had come to enjoy.

The chain’s shares tumbled more than 12 percent in after hours trading on Thursday.

Oct 18, 2012

Chipotle profit misses, 2013 sales view disappoints

By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc (CMG.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Thursday reported quarterly profit that missed Wall Street’s view and said it expects growth in sales at established restaurants to cool in 2013, sending shares down more than 12 percent after hours.

The Denver-based burrito chain has been one of the restaurant industry’s best-performing names, but shares have been weak since this summer – when Chipotle surprised investors with news that the sluggish U.S. economy had slowed growth in its formerly industry-leading same-restaurant sales.

Oct 17, 2012

Kroger’s data, market share back bullish forecast: CEO

By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – Kroger Co (KR.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the No. 2 U.S. grocery seller for decades, wants to shake its stock out of the doldrums and said its market share gains and strong research into shopper behavior support its aggressive new earnings growth projections.

Years of investments aimed at understanding customers and keeping prices low have helped the operator of supermarkets such as Ralphs, Fred Meyer, Smith’s and Food 4 Less deliver quarter after quarter of same-store sales gains and generous dividend payments.

    • 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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