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Mar 8, 2013

McDonald’s February sales fall less than feared, shares up

By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – McDonald’s Corp (MCD.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said February sales at established restaurants around the world fell less than expected, giving investors hope that new Chief Executive Don Thompson’s strategy is paying off, and lifting shares to an 11-month high.

Global sales at McDonald’s restaurants open at least 13 months fell 1.5 percent in February, slightly less than analysts’ average estimate for a 1.63 percent decline, according to Consensus Metrix.

Mar 7, 2013

Kroger says sales holding up despite tax, gas pressure

March 7 (Reuters) – U.S. supermarket operator Kroger Co
reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit and said
business remains strong despite higher taxes and gasoline
prices, sending shares to their highest point in more than four

The Cincinnati-based company, which is the biggest U.S.
supermarket operator said sales have been highly variable, but
remain on a strong trend despite consumer anxiety about the
tepid U.S. economic recovery, fluctuating gas prices, higher
payroll taxes and continued uncertainty around federal policies.

Mar 6, 2013

Safeway forecasts 2013 profit above Street view

March 6 (Reuters) – Safeway Inc issued a 2013
forecast on Wednesday that suggests profits at the
second-largest U.S. grocery store operator will surpass Wall
Street’s expectations, and its shares touched their highest
level in nearly two years.

Safeway forecast 2013 earnings of $2.25 to $2.45 per share,
above Wall Street’s average estimate of $2.24 per share,
according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Mar 1, 2013

McDonald’s dropping Fruit & Walnut Salad, Chicken Selects in U.S.

LOS ANGELES, March 1 (Reuters) – McDonald’s Corp,
under pressure from resurgent U.S. rivals, is cutting its Fruit
& Walnut Salad and Chicken Selects from U.S. menus and weighing
whether to keep its “premium” Angus burgers, a spokeswoman said
on Friday.

The menu shake-up comes at a time when hamburger chains such
as Burger King Worldwide Inc and Wendy’s Co have
been closing the gap with McDonald’s.

Feb 27, 2013

Profit beat, dividend send DineEquity shares up

Feb 27 (Reuters) – Applebee’s and IHOP restaurants owner
DineEquity Inc posted better-than-expected quarterly
profit on Wednesday and announced a generous dividend, sending
its shares up almost 5 percent.

Those two servings of good news helped investors shrug off a
decline in traffic at both Applebee’s and IHOP during the fourth

Feb 22, 2013

Darden diners squeezed as payroll tax, gasoline costs up

Feb 22 (Reuters) – Darden Restaurants Inc warned on
Friday that profits at its Olive Garden and Red Lobster chains
were being squeezed as customers retrenched because of the U.S.
payroll tax hike and higher gasoline prices.

Orlando-based Darden, which has struggled to find a way to
appeal to frugal diners, also lowered its fiscal 2013 profit
forecast on worse-than-expected quarterly results.

Feb 21, 2013

Safeway shares jump as discount program boosts sales

By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – Safeway Inc (SWY.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said Thursday a new personalized discount program boosted sales in the first quarter of 2013 compared with the fourth quarter, sending shares up nearly 14 percent on the New York Stock Exchange.

The second-largest U.S. supermarket chain, which operates the Safeway, Vons and Dominick’s supermarkets, also reported stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter profit and said it saw no impact from a recent U.S. payroll-tax hike, which had eaten into the take-home pay of many shoppers.

Feb 21, 2013

Safeway 4th-qtr profit rises, shares jump

Feb 21 (Reuters) – Safeway Inc, the second largest
U.S. supermarket chain, reported higher-than-expected profit on
Thursday, helped by new shopper loyalty programs, sending its
stock up nearly 6 percent.

Investors had been looking for signs of progress from
Safeway, which started grocery and gasoline loyalty programs to
attract customers and boost sales amid tough competition from
traditional grocers such as Kroger Co and discount
retailers ranging from Wal-Mart Stores Inc to dollar

Feb 18, 2013

“Zero Dark Thirty” and “Argo” win top Writers Guild Awards

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – U.S. film and television writers gave their top two movie awards on Sunday to “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Argo” in the final Hollywood guild awards show before next week’s Oscars.

Writer Mark Boal won the Writers Guild of America award for Best Original Screenplay for “Zero Dark Thirty,” which chronicles the intense U.S. manhunt and daring raid that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

Feb 15, 2013

Burger King profit boosted by cost cuts, new food

Feb 15 (Reuters) – Burger King Worldwide Inc, the
third-largest U.S. hamburger chain, on Friday posted
higher-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by cost cuts and
new holiday sweets, premium sandwiches and special deals that
boosted restaurant sales in the United States and Canada.

Total fourth-quarter operating costs and expenses plunged
more than 40 percent to $292.6 million as the fast-food company
spent less on everything from food and packaging to payroll and

    • 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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