Editor's note: Hedgeye Restaurants Sector Head Howard Penney has been gathering quite a bit of attention lately on a number of prescient market calls and observations including a bold, ahead-of-the-curve call on Darden Restaurants. Here's a handful of recent stories featuring the veteran analyst.
At McDonald's, Salads Just Don't Sell
McDonald's is "focused on trying to be all things to all people, whether it's catering to health-minded people with oatmeal or to Millennials with snack wraps. They've gone so far afield from their core menu that they're not really resonating with anyone," says Howard Penney, managing director at Hedgeye Risk Management, an independent investment research firm.
"McDonald's is never going to be perceived as healthy, so for them to spend too much time on healthy items doesn't make a lot of sense to me," Mr. Penney said.
Continue reading at the Wall Street Journal.
Goldman to advise Darden on activist proposal
Barington Capital is an activist investment firm that takes big stakes in companies and usually works behind the scenes with management to make operational changes to improve performance. The firm occasionally makes its efforts public, sometimes when disagreements undermine planned changes.
"They are likely not seeing eye to eye," said Howard Penney, restaurants sector head at research firm Hedgeye.
"The CEO of Darden has built the company this way, and he will likely contend that it should stay that way," Penney added. "If Goldman is asked by Darden to come upwith an opinion, they will likely not agree with Barington's position."
Continue reading at USA Today.
Darden must make major changes, analysts say
Barington doesn't own enough of Darden to force change, analysts say, but it could bring persistent pressure. And Hedgeye Risk Management analyst Howard Penney predicted Darden could attract another activist investor. "There will be someone who will be louder and bigger," he said.
Continue reading at Orlando Sentinel.
Starbucks Concocts Plans for Fizzy Drinks; Is Sodastream in Its Sights?
Some analysts see the availability of Fizzio at-home as a few years off, given carbonated drinks are only being tested in select markets. The Fizzio trademark may be an early move "to cover their bases," said Hedgeye Managing Director Howard Penney, adding that Starbucks typically tests concepts at its stores, then rolls them out nationally before considering sales in external retail outlets or as machines.
Continue reading at Advertising Age.