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Notable news items and price action from the restaurant space as well as our fundamental view on select names.

MACRO

Wheat and corn prices rose in Chicago on speculation that last week’s losses, which brought the lowest prices of 2011, may have fueled demand from importers.  On Friday last, the Department of Agriculture said that exporters in the U.S. sold 1.14 million metric tons of corn. 

QUICK SERVICE

  • WEN this morning announced that it has completed the sale of Arby’s Restaurant Group, Inc. on the terms previously announced, to Roark Capital Group, effective as of July 4, 2011.
  • MCD is looking to Twitter as one forum for advertising its products.  On Friday, it is estimated, the company spent $80,000 on purchasing two promoted trends: #ANewMcDFavorite and #LoveMcDsSmoothies.  The response from the twitterverse has been heavily negative and perhaps brings into question the wisdom of spending such sums of money on 24 hour promoted trends.  It will be interesting to see how the company’s sales of smoothies fare this summer, especially given the difficult comps the company is faced with.
  • MCD is set to accelerate expansion into South Africa after striking a developmental license transaction with Cyril Ramaphosa’s Shanduka Group Ltd.
  • CMG has gained confidence in its business’ viability in the UK and Europe following the opening of its Charing Cross store last year.  The Independent (London) reports that it has just signed up for its second site in Baker Street, as well as hiring the property agent Michael Peddar & Co to search for sites in London and the UK.
  • PNRA, JACK, CBOU, PEET, and AFCE all gained on accelerating volume on Friday.


FULL SERVICE

  • KONA, EAT, and DRI gained substantially on accelerating volume on Friday following DRI’s earnings call.
  • RT - Ruby Tuesday appoints Steven Becker and Matthew Drapkin to the board.

TALES OF THE TAPE: WEN, MCD, CMG, PNRA, JACK, CBOU, PEET, AFCE, KONA, EAT, DRI - stocks 75

Howard Penney

Managing Director

Rory Green

Analyst