Lisa's Feed
Jan 30, 2014

Traffic jump boosts Chipotle restaurant sales, stock soars

Jan 30 (Reuters) – Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc on
Thursday said an increase in customer visits contributed to
bigger-than-expected growth in quarterly sales at established
restaurants, and its shares rose nearly 10 percent in extended
trading.

The fast-growing burrito chain said sales at restaurants
open at least 13 months, a closely watched gauge of industry
performance, rose 9.3 percent during the fourth quarter, better
than the 6.7 percent expected by analysts, according to
Consensus Metrix. Most of the restaurant sales growth came from
increased traffic, Chipotle said.

Jan 30, 2014

Activist Barington calls for split of Darden chairman, CEO roles

By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – Barington Capital Group called on Darden Restaurants Inc’s (DRI.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) directors to split the chairman and chief executive roles as the activist investor lobbies for what it calls value-creating changes at the parent of Olive Garden and Red Lobster.

“We believe that the board should immediately appoint an independent chairman” to protect shareholder interests, James Mitarotonda, Barington’s chairman, president and CEO, said on a conference call on Thursday.

Jan 29, 2014

Starbucks promotes CFO to new post in e-commerce push

LOS ANGELES, Jan 29 (Reuters) – Starbucks Corp
Chief Executive Howard Schultz on Wednesday said he was
promoting Chief Financial Officer Troy Alstead to the new
position of chief operating officer, allowing Schultz to focus
on expanding the coffee shop chain’s e-commerce business.

Alstead will take over oversight of the brick-and-mortar
shops, where traffic rose 4 percent during the quarter that
included the holiday season. Starbucks also saw a record $1.4
billion loaded onto gift cards during that quarter.

Jan 24, 2014

Starbucks boosts profit forecast despite slower growth

By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Thursday reported that sales at established restaurants in its U.S.-dominated Americas region cooled more than analysts expected in its latest quarter as online shopping kept more consumers at home and reduced their visits to its coffee bars.

With fewer shoppers going to all types of stores to buy gifts, Starbucks executives said sales at its cafes open at least 13 months softened, particularly in December

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.

    • 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."
    • Follow Lisa