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Notable news items from the past few days and Friday’s price action.

  • MCD is experiencing difficulty in its efforts to attract jobseekers as Starbucks, Panda Express and Chick-fil-A have built credibility in recent years according to the Chicago Tribune.
  • MCD’s Jan Fields appeared on CNBC and refused to comment on Joe Kernen’s questions regarding 1Q11 sales trends.
  • MCD’s Ronald McDonald is back in the spotlight, not long after industry watchers had speculated that McDonald’s advertising for adult-focused menu items and activists’ criticism would marginalize the character.
  • Sbarro sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after sales slowed, cheese costs rose, listing assets of $471m and debt of $486.6m, in documents filed today in bankruptcy court in New York.
  • MSSR is a target of Tilman J. Fertitta as the investor intends to commence a (low-ball) cash tender offer for McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants at $9.25 per share.  We see fair value for the stock closer to $11.
  • OSI Restaurant Partners LLC said it planned to remodel as many as 150 Outback Steakhouse units and focus new unit development on the Bonefish Grill brand.  Chief executive Liz Smith said OSI is planning to renovate about 400 Outback units over the next several years and would explore similar remodeling strategies for its other brands.
  • KKD declined 21% on accelerating volume after the company said late Thursday that it had lost 2 cents per share in the fourth quarter versus street expectations of a gain of $0.04.

TALES OF THE TAPE: MCD, SBARRO, MSSR, OUTBACK - stocks 44

Howard Penney

Managing Director