Top 10 Restaurant Stocks For 2015


The Financial Women’s Association said early Tuesday that Jennifer Openshaw is its new executive director. Openshaw most recently served as president of Finect, a social networking platform for advisors.

She becomes only the second executive director for the organization since it was founded in 1956, succeeding Nancy Sellar, who held the post for nearly 30 years.

“Jennifer brings not only a unique blend of technology, educational and financial industry experience, but also the vision, passion and reputation for advancing women in today’s evolving world,” said FWA President Maureen Adolf, in a press release.


In the past, Openshaw worked as the press secretary for the California State Treasurer’s Office and in senior roles at Bank of America (BAC), Wilshire Associates and BankOne.

She founded and then served as CEO of Women’s Financial Network, which was bought by the late Muriel Siebert in 2000.

“I’m honored and excited to serve as FWA’s executive director,” said Openshaw, in a statement. “Advancing women in the industry – including our next generation – is more important than ever. The FWA has delivered for over 50 years, and I can’t wait to help them continue to advocate and impact women in the financial industry.”

Top 10 Restaurant Stocks For 2015: Planet Platinum Ltd (PPN)


Planet Platinum Limited is an Australia-based company engaged in the operation of Showgirls Bar 20 and the on-going rental of property in Elsternwick. The Company operates in two segments: hospitality and entertainment and property rental businesses. The Company’s hospitality and entertainment segment comprises operations of Showgirls Bar 20 in Melbourne and is engaged in the nightclub through the provision of beverages and adult entertainment. Property segment comprise maintaining of rental property at Home Street, Elsternwick. The Company continues to receive lease rentals from its Home Street property. The investment property is located at 12 Home Street, Elsternwick Victoria. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Tabitha Jean Naylor]

    Americans consume a lot of chicken. It estimated that Americans consume about 81 pounds of poultry per year, per capita. With there being upwards of 310 million people living in the United States, it is no wonder why poultry production is big business. Two of the biggest names in poultry production are Tyson Foods (NYSE: TSN) and Pilgrim’s Pride (NASDAQ: PPN).

Top 10 Restaurant Stocks For 2015: Noodles & Co (NDLS)

Noodles & Company, incorporated on December 19, 2002, is a casual restaurant concept offering lunch and dinner. The Company offers noodle and pasta dishes, staples of many cuisines, with the goal of delivering fresh ingredients and flavors globally under one roof from Pad Thai to Mac & Cheese. The Company’s globally inspired menu includes a variety of cooked-to-order dishes, including noodles and pasta, soups, salads and sandwiches, which are served on china by its friendly team members.


As of May 28, 2013, including the 16 Company owned restaurants and one franchise restaurant opened in 2013. The Company opened 39 new company owned restaurants and six franchise restaurants. In 2012, the Company began using Your World Kitchen to describe the breadth of its offering and its customers’ dining experience.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By WWW.DAILYFINANCE.COM]

    Aram Boghosian/The Boston Globe/Getty Images The next hot restaurant initial public offering could be a company that wouldn’t mind playing games with you. Dave & Buster’s — the chain of gargantuan restaurants with enclosed arcades and game rooms — filed to go public earlier this month. If everything goes as planned, it will begin trading later this year under the ticker symbol PLAY on the Nasdaq exchange. There’s more to Dave & Buster’s than a D&B logo on the outside and a group of adults reliving their childhood at the video game arcade on the inside. Let’s go over several of the reasons you may want to consider buying into the upcoming IPO. 1. Dave & Buster’s Is Growing Quickly One thing to watch for in assessing eatery IPOs is to make sure that they’re not going public as an exit strategy. Investors were burned last year by chasing the once-hot IPOs of sandwich baker Potbelly (PBPB) and pasta tosser Noodles & Co. (NDLS) while store-level popularity was actually peaking. Growth is accelerating at Dave & Buster’s. Revenue may have inched just 5 percent higher last year, but sales have soared nearly 17 percent through the first half of this fiscal year. 2. It’s Been Here Before This isn’t the first time that Dave & Buster’s will be a publicly traded company. Investors were able to bet on the company’s success until it was taken private by Wellspring Capital Management in 2006. It was then sold to Oak Hill Capital Partners four years later in a $570 million transaction, and now that firm is taking it public. This may not seem like much of a selling point. Some will argue that it reveals a tendency to quit. However, it can also be viewed as a company that is already used to the market’s quarterly expectations, with the experience to navigate through Wall Street’s fickle tastemakers. 3. Dave & Buster’s Offers Diversity From Volatile Food Prices One of the biggest potential setbacks for a restaurant operator is the volatil

  • [By WWW.DAILYFINANCE.COM]

    www.elpolloloco.com One of this year’s hottest initial public offerings is a quick-service restaurant chain that prides itself on its grilled citrus-marinated chicken. El Pollo Loco (LOCO) has seen its stock more than double since it went public at $15 in July. The California-based eatery had its first chance to impress investors with its first quarterly report as a public company on Thursday. It didn’t disappoint. Sales inched 6.3 percent higher to $86.9 million, fueled primarily by a 5.4 percent increase in system-wide comparable-restaurant sales. Adjusted earnings climbed 10 percent to $6.1 million — or 16 cents a share. The results were in line with analyst targets of 16 cents a share in net income on $86.4 million in sales. This isn’t the kind of monster growth that investors associate with stocks that double within two months of storming out of the IPO gate, but El Pollo Loco now has the ammo to begin expanding its reach beyond the 401 locations open at the end of June. For investors, El Pollo Loco offers an opportunity to cash in on the fast-casual trend that’s been faring better than traditional fast-food chains or casual-dining establishments. Spreading Its Wings Going public has its challenges. It forces companies to live up to Wall Street’s quarterly expectations, and that can often get in the way of carrying out long-term growth plans. However, trading publicly gives a company the ability to tap equity markets to raise capital. It also helps validate brands, and that’s a pretty big deal for a consumer-facing restaurant operator that relies on third-party franchisees to help build out its empire. A majority of its eateries — 233 locations, or 58 percent — are owned and operated by franchisees. Expansion has been slow until now. El Pollo Loco had 347 locations when it originally tried but ultimately failed to go public in 2006. Growing your store count by 16 percent through eight years isn’t very impressive. El Pollo Loco had 398 restauran

  • [By WWW.DAILYFINANCE.COM]

    www.gopro.com Plenty of stocks go up and down in any given week. The gainers inspire us to keep investing. The decliners keep greed in check while reminding us about the risks of the equity markets. Let’s go over some of last week’s best and worst performers. TubeMogul (TUBE) — Up 47 percent last week The biggest winner among Nasdaq-listed stocks was TubeMogul, surprising the market with a profit in its first quarter as a public company. TubeMogul is trying to raise the bar when it comes to online video advertising, and its first time out with fresh financials is impressive. Revenue more than doubled, and TubeMogul’s profit of 4 cents a share flabbergasted the pros, who were bracing for a deficit of 15 cents a share. Its guidance suggests that TubeMogul will revert back to a deficit during the next two quarters, but the market was still impressed by the healthy revenue and ad spend growth in its outlook for the balance of the year. GoPro (GPRO) — Up 20 percent last week The leading maker of wearable cameras is going to the dogs. GoPro moved higher after introducing a new canine camera harness. GoPro’s Fetch is a harness that offers a pair of mount locations for GoPro’s high-def HERO cameras. The adjustable mount can be worn by dogs as small as 15 pounds, but it remains to be seen if PETA and other animal activists object to having cameras mounted on canines in the first place. Mobileye (MBLY) — Up 15 percent last week Self-driving cars may be closer than we think. Shares of Mobileye — a Jerusalem-based leader in camera-based advanced driver assistance systems, moved higher after analysts initiated coverage with favorable ratings. Barclays Capital (BCS), Citigroup (C), Morgan Stanley (JPM) and Robert W. Baird were among the analysts chiming in on the recently public company with upbeat outlooks. Mobileye’s cameras make cars smarter, bringing us one step closer to automobiles that drive themselves. Smith & Wesson (SWHC) — Down 15 percent las

  • [By WWW.DAILYFINANCE.COM]

    Amy Sancetta/AP Plenty of stocks go up and down in any given week. The gainers inspire us to keep investing. The decliners keep greed in check while reminding us about the risks of the equity markets. Let’s go over some of last week’s best and worst performers. Chiquita Brands (CQB) — Up 35 Percent Last Week Investors went bananas over Chiquita after it received — and rejected — a buyout offer. Cutrale and Safra offered an unsolicited offer to buy the banana giant at a price of $13 a share, representing a 29 percent premium to where Chiquita closed before bid was made public. Chiquita’s board rejected the offer. The stock still moved higher — above and beyond $13 — on the possibility of Cutrale and Safra sweetening their bid. Monster Beverage (MNST) — Up 34 Percent Last Week Soft drinks are out, and adrenaline-boosting energy drinks are in. Coca-Cola (KO) knows this, so it announced on Friday morning that it was buying a nearly 17 percent stake in Monster Beverage for $2.15 billion. Monster and Red Bull dominate this niche despite growing concerns about the health risks of young consumers taking in too many energy drinks. Monster’s stock rallied on Friday. Investors may be hoping that Coca-Cola eventually swallows down all of Monster, but in the meantime it validates the beverage category. United Online (UNTD) — Up 20 Percent Last Week It’s possible to be at the right place at the right time but with the wrong approach. United Online hasn’t been the market darling that it could have been given its ability to hop on to trends early. After all, it acquired alum-reuniting Classmates before social networking was hot. It built up NetZero when the country was just starting to migrate online. It also bought MyPoints from a legacy airline before the appeal of online coupons and loyalty clubs became popular. However, investors were rewarded last week when United Online posted preliminary quarterly results. Its bean counters are still trying to assess th

Top 10 Restaurant Stocks For 2015: BAB Inc (BABB)


BAB, Inc., incorporated on July 12, 2000, franchises and licenses bagel and muffin retail units under the Big Apple Bagel (BAB) and My Favorite Muffin (MFM) trade names. At November 30, 2012, the Company had 100 franchise units and 6 licensed units in operation in 24 states. The Company additionally derives income from the sale of its trademark bagels, muffins and coffee through nontraditional channels of distribution including under licensing agreements with Kohr Bros. Frozen Custard, Kaleidoscoops, Green Beans Coffee, Sodexo and through direct home delivery of specialty muffin gift baskets and coffee. The Company has two wholly owned subsidiaries: BAB Systems, Inc. (Systems) and BAB Operations, Inc. (Operations). At November 30, 2012, the Company had 100 franchise units and six licensed units in operation in 24 states.


The Company additionally derives income from the sale of its trademark bagels, muffins and coffee through nontraditional channels of distribu tion including under licensing agreements with Kohr Bros. Frozen Custard, Kaleidoscoops, Green Beans Coffee, Sodexo and through direct home delivery of specialty muffin gift baskets and coffee. The BAB franchised brand consists of units operating as Big Apple Bagels, featuring daily baked bagels, flavored cream cheeses, premium coffees, gourmet bagel sandwiches and other related products. Licensed BAB units serve the Company’s par-baked frozen bagel and related products baked daily. BAB units are primarily concentrated in the Midwest and Western United States. The MFM brand consists of units operating as My Favorite Muffin, featuring a variety of freshly baked muffins, coffees and related products, and units operating as My Favorite Muffin and Bagel Cafe, featuring these products as well as a variety of specialty bagel sandwiches and related products.


The Company’s BAB offering franchises in all 50 states, its initial development focus is targeted for the Mid west, specifically Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio. A! s part of its introductory development plan, BAB will be donating 10% of the initial franchise fee from its 50 SweetDuet units to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, of which BAB is a corporate sponsor. SweetDuet, as its name implies, is a fusion concept, pairing self-serve frozen yogurt with BAB’s exclusive line of My Favorite Muffin gourmet muffins, broadening the shop’s offering and therefore differentiating itself from the numerous frozen yogurt outlets already populating the market. SweetDuet shops include BAB’s Brewster’s Coffee and a streamlined breakfast menu. The concept is designed to work in 1600 square feet of space.


BAB franchised stores daily bake a variety of fresh bagels and offer up to 11 varieties of cream cheese spreads. Stores also offer a variety of breakfast and lunch bagel sandwiches, salads, soups, various dessert items, fruit smoothies, gourmet coffees and other beverages. A typical BAB store is in an area with a mix of both residential and commercial properties and ranges from 1,500 to 2,000 square feet. The Company’s current store design is approximately 1,800 square feet, with seating capacity for 20 to 30 persons, and includes approximately 750 square feet devoted to production and baking. A satellite store is typically smaller than a production store, averaging 800 to 1,200 square feet. Although franchise stores may vary in size from other franchise stores, store layout is generally consistent.


MFM franchised stores daily bake 20 to 25 varieties of muffins from over 250 recipes, plus a variety of bagels. They also serve gourmet coffees, beverages and, at My Favorite Muffin and Bagel Cafe locations, a variety of bagel sandwiches and related products. The typical MFM store design is approximately 1,800 square feet, with seating capacity for 20 to 30 persons.The Company advertises its franchising opportunities in directories, newspapers and the Internet.

The Company competes with E instein Noah Restaurant Group, Panera Bread Company and Brue! gger’s Ba! gel Bakery.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By CRWE]

    Today, BABB remains (0.00%) +0.000 at $.800 thus far (ref. google finance July 11, 2013).

    For the quarter ended May 31, 2013, BAB had revenues of $658,000 and net income of $125,000, or $0.02 per share, versus revenues of $826,000 and net income of $267,000, or $0.04 per share, for the same quarter last year. For the quarter ended May 31, 2012, the Company received a $171,000 payment for the buyout of the Franchise Agreement from its Minot, ND franchisee so the franchisee could pursue its other business interests associated with the local energy boom. In that acceptance by the Company of the voluntary buyout is unique, no such transaction occurred nor was such income earned in the quarter ended May 31, 2013.

Top 10 Restaurant Stocks For 2015: Ignite Restaurant Group Inc (IRG)


Ignite Restaurant Group, Inc., incorporated on February 4, 2002, operates two restaurant brands, Joe’s Crab Shack (Joe’s) and Brick House Tavern + Tap (Brick House). The Company’s Joe’s Crab Shack and Brick House Tavern + Tap operate in a diverse set of markets across the United States. Joe’s Crab Shack is a national chain of casual seafood restaurants serving a variety of seafood items, with an emphasis on crab. Brick House Tavern + Tap is a casual restaurant brand that provides guests a gastro pub experience by offering a blend of menu items. As of December 31, 2012, the Company owned and operated 144 restaurants in 33 states. In September 2013, Ignite Restaurant Group Inc announced the opening of its newest Joe’s Crab Shack restaurant, located in Newark, New Jersey.


Joe’s Crab Shack

The Company’s Joe’s Crab Shack offers an outdoor patio for guests to enjoy eating and drinking and a children’s playground. Joe’s also has many locatio ns that are located on waterfront property. Interior design elements include a nautical, vacation theme to invoke memories of beach vacations and a genuine crab shack experience. Joe’s Crab Shack restaurants have over 200 seats. Many of the Company’s restaurants also include a small gift shop where guests can purchase souvenirs to commemorate their dining experience. Joe’s Crab Shack also leverages its crab-forward menu with other crab items, including Made-From-Scratch Crab Cakes, Crab Nachos and Crazy-Good Crab Dip. In addition to its core crab-focused menu, Joe’s also offers a range of entrees featuring a variety of seafood, including the Get Stuffed Snapper, Surf ‘N Turf Burger and The Big Hook Up, as well as a range of traditional seafood entrees like the Fisherman’s Platter. Joe’s also offers several out of water options, such as Pan Fried Cheesy Chicken and Whiskey Smoked Ribs. In addition, alcoholic beverages include the Shark Bite, Category 5 Hurricane and Mason J ar cocktails emerging as guests’ top choices. Joe’s menu inc! ludes more than 29 items made with either Queen, Snow, Dungeness or King Crabs sourced from government regulated and sustainable fisheries. Its menu offers 14 appetizers, including Made-From-Scratch Crab Cakes, Crab Nachos and Crazy-Good Crab Dip, and over 50 entrees, including Steampots, Crab in a Bucket, Skillet Paella, Stuffed Snapper and out of water options like Whiskey Smoked Ribs.


Brick House Tavern + Tap

The Company’s Brick House’s interior decor includes custom lighting, dark mahogany woods, open sight lines, high definition television (HD TVs), and an inviting fireplace. In addition to a traditional dining room and bar area, Brick House also offers large communal tables and a section of leather recliners positioned in front of large HD TVs, where guests receive their own TV tray for dining. Outdoor seating is also available on the patio or around an open fire pit at nearly all locations. Both food and beverages are served by personable and engaging service staff. The typical Brick House restaurant is approximately 8,500 square feet and averages approximately 250 seats, which includes both traditional tables and seating options. Brick House offers its guests a selection of contemporary tavern food. Brick House’s menu includes 17 appetizers and over 53 entrees. Handcrafted appetizers include Deviled Eggs, Meatloaf Sliders, Brick Pizza, Meat and Cheese Board and Fried Stuffed Olives. Brick House offers an array of burgers, including The Kobe, which is hand formed from American Wagyu beef. Guests can also choose from a selection of homemade entrees, such as Drunken Chops, BBQ Baby Backs, Chicken & Waffles, and its Prime Rib Sandwich. In addition, Brick House’s Brick Burgers, include the Gun Show Burger and the Black & Bleu Burger. Brick House’s beverage selection includes imported and domestic beers along with hand-pulled cask beer. All Brick House restaurants have a bar that supports a variety of liquor drin ks, wine and beer cocktails like the Shandy and Bee Sting, a! s well as! specialty cocktails like the Dark & Stormy, Moscow Mule and The Zombie.


The Company competes with Red Lobster, Bonefish Grill, Landry’s Seafood, Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, BJ’s Restaurants, Yard House, Cheesecake Factory, Bravo Brio and Buffalo Wild Wings, Applebee’s, Chili’s, T.G.I. Friday’s, Texas Roadhouse and Outback Steakhouse.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Victor Selva]

    The firm is currently Zacks Rank # 3 – Hold, and it also has a longer-term recommendation of “Underperfom.” For investors looking for a Zacks Rank # 1 – Strong Buy, Ignite Restaurant Group Inc. (IRG) and The Wendy’s Company (WEN) could be the options.

  • [By Seth Jayson]

    Margins matter. The more Ignite Restaurant Group (Nasdaq: IRG  ) keeps of each buck it earns in revenue, the more money it has to invest in growth, fund new strategic plans, or (gasp!) distribute to shareholders. Healthy margins often separate pretenders from the best stocks in the market. That’s why we check up on margins at least once a quarter in this series. I’m looking for the absolute numbers, so I can compare them to current and potential competitors, and any trend that may tell me how strong Ignite Restaurant Group’s competitive position could be.

Top 10 Restaurant Stocks For 2015: DineEquity Inc (DIN)


DineEquity, Inc., incorporated on May 07, 1976, owns franchise and operate two restaurant concepts: Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar, (Applebee’s), in the bar and grill segment of the casual dining category of the restaurant industry, and International House of Pancakes (IHOP), in the family dining category of the restaurant industry. As of December 31, 2012, the franchise operations segment consisted of 2,011 restaurants operated by Applebee’s franchisees in the United States, one United States territory and 15 foreign countries and 1,569 restaurants operated by IHOP franchisees and area licensees in the United States, two United States territories and five foreign countries. As of December 31, 2012, the Company restaurant operations segment consisted of 23 Applebee’s Company-operated restaurants, 10 IHOP Company-operated restaurants and two IHOP restaurants reacquired from franchisees and operated by IHOP on a temporary basis until refranchised. Financing operations r evenue primarily consists of interest income from the financing of franchise fees and equipment leases, as well as sales of equipment associated with refranchised IHOP restaurants and a portion of franchise fees for restaurants taken back from franchisees not allocated to IHOP intellectual property. In October 2012, it completed the refranchising program and completed the transitioning to a 99% franchised restaurant system.


Applebee’s

The Company develops, franchises and operates restaurants in the bar and grill segment of the casual dining category of the restaurant industry under the name Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar. As of December 31, 2012, 68 franchise groups operated 2,011 of these restaurants and 23 restaurants were Company-operated. The restaurants were located in 49 states, one United States territory and 15 countries outside of the United States. During the year ended December 31, 2012, 20 domestic franchise restaurants opened, six domestic franchise restaurants closed. 154 Company-operated! restaurants were franchised. The number of restaurants held by an individual franchisee ranges from one to 438 restaurants. As of December 31, 2012, it is focusing on international franchising primarily in Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, and the Mediterranean/Middle East. As of December 31, 2012, there were 149 international Applebee’s franchise restaurants. During 2012, 14 international franchise restaurants opened and 13 international franchise restaurants closed.


IHOP

The Company develops franchises and operates restaurants in the family dining category of the restaurant industry under the names IHOP and International House of Pancakes. As of December 31, 2012 there were a total of 1,581 IHOP restaurants of which 1,404 were subject to franchise agreements, 165 were subject to area license agreements, 10 were Company-operated restaurants and two restaurants were reacquired from franchisees and operated by IHOP on a temporary basis. The Company owns and operates 10 IHOP restaurants in the Cincinnati market area primarily to test new remodel programs, operating procedures, products, technology, cooking platforms and service models. IHOP restaurants are located in all 50 states of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands and internationally in Canada, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Mexico and the United Arab Emirates. As of December 31, 2012, the area licensee for the state of Florida and certain counties in Georgia operated or sub-franchised a total of 152 IHOP restaurants, and the area licensees for the province of British Columbia, Canada operated or sub-franchised a total of 13 IHOP restaurants. As of December 31, 2012, the Company had signed commitments and options from franchisees to build 245 IHOP restaurants over the next 17 years, comprised of 5 restaurants under single-restaurant or non-traditional development agreements, 120 restaurants unde r multi-restaurant development agreements and 63 restaurants! under in! ternational development agreements. As of December 31, 2012, there were 1,525 domestic IHOP franchise and area license restaurants. During 2012, its franchisees and area licensees opened 40 domestic franchise restaurants and 17 domestic franchise and area license restaurants were closed. As of December 31, 2012, there were 44 international IHOP franchise and area license restaurants. During 2012, its franchisees opened eight international franchise restaurants and no restaurants were closed.


The Company competes with Chili’s, T.G.I. Friday’s, Ruby Tuesday’s, Denny’s, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store and Bob Evans Restaurants.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Peter Graham]

    The Q4 2014 earnings report for restaurant stock Bob Evans Farms Inc (NASDAQ: BOBE), a potential peer of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (NASDAQ: CBRL), Denny’s Corporation (NASDAQ: DENN) and DineEquity Inc (NYSE: DIN), is scheduled for after the market closes on Tuesday. Aside from the Bob Evans Farms report, it should be said that Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc reported Q3 2014 earnings on May 28th (revenues and profit rose on lower expenses); Denny’s Corporation reported Q1 2014 earnings on April 28th (they had their strongest quarter of same-store sales at company restaurants in over seven years); and DineEquity Inc reported Q1 2014 on May 1st (earnings rose on stronger sales). However, Bob Evans Farms recently replaced three board members with new independent directors after facing criticism from shareholder Sandell Asset Management Corp.

  • [By Nickey Friedman]

    “Customers have been telling us for some time… ‘I don’t like to wait for the check,'” said Julia Stewart, CEO of DineEquity  (NYSE: DIN  ) , in an interview on CNBC. DineEquity, the parent company of Applebee’s, and other restaurants like Buffalo Wild Wings (NASDAQ: BWLD  ) and Chili’s of Brinker International (NYSE: EAT  )  are in the process of rolling out pay-at-the-table computer tablets across the nation. While giving consumers a more convenient way to order and pay for their meal is a plus, there is an indirect motivator for the tablets that may lead to higher sales and profits.

Top 10 Restaurant Stocks For 2015: Arcos Dorados Holdings Inc (ARCO)


Arcos Dorados Holdings Inc., incorporated on December 9, 2010, is a McDonald’s franchisee. As of December 31, 2010, the Company operated or franchised 1,755 McDonald’s-branded restaurants, which represented 6.7% of McDonald’s total franchised restaurants globally. It operates McDonald’s-branded restaurants under two different operating formats, Company-operated restaurants and franchised restaurants. As of December 31, 2010, of its 1,755 McDonald’s-branded restaurants in the territories, 1,292 (or 74%) were Company-operated restaurants and 463 (or 26%) were franchised restaurants. It generates revenues from two sources: sales by Company-operated restaurants and revenues from franchised restaurants, which consist of rental income, which is based on the greater of a flat fee or a percentage of sales reported by franchised restaurants. As of December 31, 2010, it owned the land for 510 of its restaurants (totaling approximately 1.2 million square meters) and the bui ldings for all but 12 of its restaurants. It divides its operations into four geographical divisions: Brazil; the Caribbean division, consisting of Aruba, Curacao, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands of St. Croix and St. Thomas; North Latin America division (NOLAD), consisting of Costa Rica, Mexico and Panama, and South Latin America division (SLAD), consisting of Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. As of December 31, 2010, 35.1% of its restaurants were located in Brazil, 29.7% in SLAD, 27.1% in NOLAD and 8.1% in the Caribbean division. The Company conducts its business through its indirect, wholly owned subsidiary Arcos Dorados B.V.


Company-Operated and Franchised Restaurants

The Company operates its McDonald’s-branded restaurants under two basic structures: Company-operated restaurants operated by the Company and franchised restaurants operated by franchisees. Und er both operating alternatives the real estate location may ! either be owned or leased by the Company. It owns, fully manages and operates the Company-operated restaurants and retains any operating profits generated by such restaurants, after paying operating expenses and the franchise and other fees owed to McDonald’s under the Master Franchise Agreements (MFAs). In Company-operated restaurants, it assumes the capital expenditures for the building and equipment of the restaurant and, if it owns the real estate location, for the land as well. Under its franchise arrangements, franchisees provide a portion of the capital required by initially investing in the equipment, signs, seating and decor of their restaurants, and by reinvesting in the business over time. It is required by the MFAs to own the real estate or to secure long-term leases for franchised restaurant sites. It subsequently leases or subleases the property to franchisees.


In exchange for the lease and services, franchisees pay a monthly rent to the Company , based on the greater of a fixed rent or a certain percentage of gross sales. In addition to this monthly rent, it collects the monthly continuing franchise fee, which generally is 5% of the United States dollar equivalent of the restaurant’s gross sales, and pays these fees to McDonald’s pursuant to the MFAs. However, if a franchisee fails to pay its monthly continuing franchise fee, it remains liable for payment in full of these fees to McDonald’s. As of December 31, 2010, it was engaged in several joint ventures, which collectively owned 24 restaurants, in Argentina, Chile and Colombia.


Restaurant Categories

The Company classifies its restaurants into one of four categories: freestanding, food court, in-store and mall stores. Freestanding restaurants are the type of restaurant, which have ample indoor seating and include a drive-through area. Food court restaurants are located in malls and consist of a front counter and kitchen and do not have their own seating area. In-store restaurants are part ! of a larg! er building and resemble freestanding restaurants, except for the lack of a drive-through area. Mall stores are located in malls like food court restaurants, but have their own seating areas. As of December 31, 2010, 808 (or 46.2%) of its restaurants were freestanding, 359 (or 20.5%) were food court, 265 (or 15.1%) were in-stores and 319 (or 18.2%) were mall stores. In addition, it has four non-traditional stores, such as food carts.


Reimaging

As of December 31, 2010, the Company had completed the reimaging of 308 of 1,569 restaurants. Many of the reimaging projects include the addition of McCafe locations to the restaurant. It has developed system-wide guidelines for the interior and exterior design of reimaged restaurants.

McCafe Locations and Dessert Centers

McCafe locations are stylish, separate areas within restaurants where customers can purchase a range of customizable beverages, including lattes, cappuccinos, moc has, hot and iced premium coffees and hot chocolate. As of December 31, 2010, there were 267 McCafe locations in the Territories, of which 12% were operated by franchisees. Argentina, with 71 locations, has McCafe locations, followed by Brazil, with 67 locations. In addition to McCafe locations, it has Dessert Centers. Dessert Centers operate from existing restaurants, but depend on them for supplies and operational support. As of December 31, 2010, there were 1,306 Dessert Centers in the Territories.


Product Offerings

The Company’s menus feature three tiers of products: affordable entry-level options, such as its Big Pleasures, Small Prices or Combo del Dia (Daily Extra Value Meal) offerings, core menu options, such as the Big Mac, Happy Meal and Quarter Pounder, and premium options, such as Big Tasty or Angus premium hamburgers and chicken sandwiches and low-calorie or low-sodium products, which are marketed through common platforms rather than as individual items. These platforms can be based on the ty! pe of pro! ducts, such as beef, chicken, salads or desserts, or on the type of customer targeted, such as the children’s menu.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Rich Bieglmeier]

    Normally, we look for stocks that trade at least 1 million shares a day; however, when a major broker says a company has upside potential of close to 40%, we’ll make an exception. And that’s what Bank of America/Merrill Lynch says to expect from Arcos Dorados Holding Inc. (NYSE:ARCO).

  • [By Chris Hill]

    In this segment of Friday’s Investor Beat, Motley Fool analyst Ron Gross gives investors one stock that he’ll be watching closely this week. He takes a look at Arcos Dorados (NYSE: ARCO  ) , which holds the franchise rights to McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD  ) in Latin America and the Caribbean. The company reports earnings next week, and while it has been a long-time holding for Ron in the Motley Fool’s Million-Dollar Portfolio service, he sees reasons to be concerned here. The company’s store growth is slowing, so he’ll be watching closely to see what the company has to say next week.

Top 10 Restaurant Stocks For 2015: Blue Water Global Group Inc (BLUU)


Blue Water Global Group, Inc. (Blue Water), incorporated on March 3, 2011, is a development-stage company. The Company focuses on developing a chain of casual dining restaurants in tourist destinations throughout the Caribbean region. The Company’s initial restaurant is going to be called Blue Water Bar & Grill and will be located in St. Maarten, Dutch West Indies.

As of February 7, 2013, the Company did not operate any restaurant properties, and did not have any ownership or leaseholds in any restaurant properties. As of February 7, 2013, the Company did not have any ownership or leaseholds in any restaurant properties.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Peter Graham]

    Small cap stocks Naturalnano Inc (OTCMKTS: NNAN), Global Payout, Inc (OTCMKTS: GOHE) and Blue Water Global Group Inc (OTCBB: BLUU) were either jumping higher or diving lower yesterday. To complicate matters for investors, two of these small cap stocks have been subjects of disclosures about paid promotion or investor relation campaigns. So what will these three small caps do for the rest of this week? Here is a closer look to help you decide on a trading or investing strategy:

  • [By Peter Graham]

    Last Friday, small cap Digital Brand Media & Marketing Group Inc (OTCMKTS: DBMM) surged 22.22% while Blue Water Global Group Inc (OTCBB: BLUU) sank 18.42% and Medina International Holdings, Inc (OTCMKTS: MIHI) sank 50%. However, one of these small caps (Blue Water Global Group) appears to be reversing course in early morning trading today. So with it and the rest of these small cap stocks either sink or swim in trading this week? Here is a closer look to help you decide on an investing or trading strategy:

  • [By Peter Graham]

    Small cap stocks Caribbean International Holdings (OTCMKTS: CIHN), Blue Water Global Group Inc (OTCBB: BLUU) and Metrospaces Inc (OTCMKTS: MSPC) have been getting some attention lately in various investment newsletters and all three have focused their activities in the Caribbean or South America. However, all three have been the subject of paid promotions which have helped to get them mentions in various investment newsletters. With that in mind, will bets on the Caribbean or South America pay off big for these three small cap stocks and their investors? Here is a quick reality check:

Top 10 Restaurant Stocks For 2015: Einstein Noah Restaurant Group Inc (BAGL)


Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, Inc. (ENRGI), incorporated on October 21, 1992, is an owner/operator, franchisor and licensor of bagel specialty restaurants in the United States. ENRGI operates under the Einstein Bros. Bagels (Einstein Bros.), Noah’s New York Bagels (Noah’s) and Manhattan Bagel Company (Manhattan Bagel) brands. ENRGI operates in three business segments: the Company-owned restaurants segment, the manufacturing and commissary segment, and the franchise and license segment. The Company-owned restaurants segment includes the restaurants that it owns. The manufacturing and commissary segment produces and distributes bagel dough and other products to its Company-owned restaurants, licensees and franchisees and other third parties. The franchise and license segment earns royalties and other fees from the use of trademarks and operating systems developed for the Einstein Bros., Noah’s and Manhattan Bagel brands.


During the fiscal year ended Jan uary 1, 2013 (fiscal 2012), ENRGI acquired eight restaurants and opened an additional 15 Company-owned restaurants. It closed one Company-owned restaurant during fiscal 2012. On January 31, 2012, the Company sold a Company-owned restaurant. As of January 1, 2013, it had 816 restaurants in 39 states and in the District of Columbia. In January 2013, the Company opened an Einstein Bros. franchise in Montana. Its product offerings include fresh-baked bagels and other bakery items baked onsite, ma de-to-order breakfast and lunch sandwiches on a range of bagels, breads or wraps, gourmet soups and salads, assorted pastries, premium coffees and an assortment of snacks. Its manufacturing and independent distribution network delivers ingredients that are delivered fresh to its restaurants.


Company-owned restaurants

Einstein Bros. offers a menu that provides food for breakfast and lunch, including fresh-baked bagels and hot breakfast sandwiches, freshly prepa red lunch sandwiches, cream cheese and other spreads, specia! lty coffees and teas, soups, salads and other menu offerings. Noah’s is a neighborhood-based bakery/deli restaurant that serves fresh-baked bagels, hot breakfast sandwiches, made-to-order deli-style sandwiches, cream cheese and other spreads, specialty coffees and teas, soups, salads and other menu offerings. Manhattan Bagel provides a traditional New York style boil and baked bagel. Manhattan Bagel also serves a range of grilled sandwiches, freshly made deli sandwiches, freshly prepared breakfast sandwiches, soups, and a range of other fresh-baked sweets. Similar to Einstein Bros. and Noah’s, Manhattan Bagel also features a line of fresh brewed coffees and specialty coffee/espresso beverages. During fiscal 2012, ENRGI generated approximately 90% of its total revenue from restaurant sales at its Company-owned restaurants.


Manufacturing and Commissaries

ENRGI operates a bagel dough manufacturing facility in Whittier, California and has contracts with two suppliers to produce bagel dough and sweets to the specifications. These facilities provide frozen dough, partially-baked frozen bagels and fully baked sweets for its Company-owned restaurants, franchisees and licensees. These operations provide the restaurants with food products, such as sliced meats, cheeses, and/or certain salad ingredients. It has recipes and production processes for the bagel dough, cream cheese and coffee. Frozen, or partially baked and frozen, bagel dough is shipped to all of its Company-owned, franchised and licensed restaurants where the dough is then baked onsite. Its purchases other ingredients used in the restaurants, such as meat, lettuce, tomatoes and condiments, from a select group of third party suppliers.


Franchise and Licensing

ENRGI offers Einstein Bros. franchises to qualified area developers. As of January 1, 2013, the Company was registered to offer Einstein Bros. franchises in 49 states and the Distr ict of Columbia. It also has a franchise base in the Manhatt! an Bagel ! brand. Its licensees are located primarily in colleges and universities, hospitals, airports and military bases. As of February 25, 2013, it had 28 development agreements in place for 136 total restaurants, 34 of which have already opened. During fiscal 2012, it opened 13 franchised locations and 27 licensed locations. During fiscal 2012, approximately 3% of its total revenue was generated by the Company’s franchise and license operations.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Peter Graham]

    The Q1 2014 Potbelly Corp (NASDAQ: PBPB) earnings report is scheduled for after the market closes on Tuesday, May 6th, with investors and traders alike who follow either the sandwich restaurant chain stock (which debuted last October and is down some 44% for retail investors) or who are into potential small cap peers like Cosi Inc (NASDAQ: COSI), Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, Inc (NASDAQ: BAGL) and Panera Bread Co (NASDAQ: PNRA) should be paying attention. Aside from the Potbelly Corp earnings report, it should be said that the Q1 2014 Panera Bread Co earnings report was last Tuesday while the Q1 2014 Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, Inc earnings report came last Thursday and the the Q1 2014 Cosi Inc earnings report is likely scheduled for Monday, May 12. However, Potbelly Corp has attracted a bit of attention for its potential growth trajectory as well as its vision to be the “Neighborhood Sandwich Shop.”

  • [By MARKETWATCH]

    SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Wall Street hedge-fund investor David Einhorn was active in the last quarter of 2013, taking new stakes in technology and energy companies, while trimming existing holdings in insurer Aetna (AET) , NCR Corp (NCR) and WPX Energy (WPX) , according to an SEC filing Friday. Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital picked up stakes in Anadarko Petroleum (APC) , BP (BP) , McDermott Intl. (MDR) , Micron Technolgy (MU) and Take-Two Interactive (TTWO) , according to the latest 13F filing. He trimmed stakes in Aetna, Einstein Noah (BAGL) and WPX Energy, according to the filing.

  • [By John Udovich]

    At the end of last week, small cap sandwich stock Potbelly Corp (NASDAQ: PBPB) had a delicious surge of 120% for its IPO – meaning its probably a good idea to see whether its still worth getting in on the action plus take a look at the performance of peers Cosi Inc (NASDAQ: COSI), Panera Bread Co (NASDAQ: PNRA) and Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, Inc (NASDAQ: BAGL) as Subway remains private. I should mention that competing with Subway in the sandwich business is a tall order as they have 40,229 restaurants in 102 countries and territories as of early September – making them the largest single-brand restaurant chain and the largest restaurant operator globally. However, Potbelly Corp and its peers Cosi Inc, Panera Bread Co and Einstein Noah Restaurant Group aren’t slugging it out directly with Subway.

Top 10 Restaurant Stocks For 2015: Chanticleer Holdings Inc (HOTR)


Chanticleer Holdings, Inc., incorporated in 1999, is a business operator focused on expanding the Hooters casual dining restaurant brand in international markets. Chanticleer has rights to develop and operate Hooters restaurants in South Africa and has joint ventured with the current franchisee in Australia. The company also has franchise rights to develop Hungary and parts of Brazil while evaluating several additional opportunities internationally. During the year ended December 31, 2011, Chanticleer and a group of private equity investors acquired Hooters of America, Inc. (HOA). HOA is the franchisor and operator of over 450 Hooters restaurants in 44 states and 28 foreign countries. In October 2013, Chanticleer Holdings Inc purchased American Roadside Burgers, Inc. In December 12, 2013, Chanticleer Holdings Inc acquired a 51% interest in JF Restaurants LLC, an owner and operator of restaurants. In February 2014, it acquired Hooters’ United States Pacific Northwest franch ise rights and two existing restaurants in Oregon and Washington.


The Company operates in two business segments: Hooters franchise restaurants, and investment management and consulting services businesses. Hooters has also branched out to other areas, including licensing its name to a golf tour and the sale of packaged food in supermarkets. Its subsidiaries include Chanticleer Advisors, LLC, (Advisors), Avenel Ventures, LLC (Ventures), Avenel Financial Services, LLC (AFS), Chanticleer Holdings Limited (CHL), Chanticleer Holdings Australia Pty, Ltd. (CHA), Chanticleer Investment Partners, LLC (CIP), DineOut SA Ltd. (DineOut), Kiarabrite (Pty) Ltd (KPL), Dimaflo (Pty) Ltd (DFLO), Tundraspex (Pty) Ltd (TPL), Civisign (Pty) Ltd (CPL), Dimalogix (Pty) Ltd (DLOG) and Crown Restaurants Kft. (CRK).


South Africa

As of December 31, 2011, the Company had four Hooters locations in South Africa in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg (two locations), which are owned by four companies, which it control. The Com! pany formed a management company to operate the current South African Hooters locations. It owns 80% of the management company, with two members of local management owning the remaining 20%. The management company charges a management fee of 5% of net revenues to the Hooters locations in South Africa.

Other Countries

The Company has acquired development rights for Hooters in five states of Brazil, which would include Rio de Janeiro. It has applied to HOA for franchise rights in Hungary, where it own 80% of the entity the Company anticipate will hold the franchise rights and its local partner owns the remaining 20%. The Company has partnered with the Hooters franchisee in a joint venture in which it owns 49% and its partner 51%. The first Hooters restaurant under this joint venture (which would be the third Hooters restaurant open in Australia) opened in January 2012 in Campbelltown, a suburb of Sydney. It has a non-binding letter of intent with a fr anchisee to purchase 100% of an existing Hooters location.


Management and consulting services

The Company provides management and consulting services for small companies, which are seeking to become publicly traded. The Company also provides management and investment services for Investors LLC and Investors II, which are affiliates of the Company.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Chris Isidore]

    Restaurant chains are trying to hold the line on prices. Mark Allison, senior vice president of culinary operations at Chanticleer Holdings (HOTR), which operates the American Roadside Burger chain, said his chain raised prices about 12%, even though their beef costs are up even more than that.

  • [By Konrad Kuhn]

    Chanticleer Holdings (HOTR), a franchisee of international Hooters restaurants, has exploded through its upside target prices; however, in our view, the stock has a long way to go, as it expands its restaurants abroad, and in the US.

Top 10 Restaurant Stocks For 2015: Darden Restaurants Inc (DRI)

Darden Restaurants, Inc. (Darden), incorporated in March 1995, is a company owned and full-service restaurant company. As of May 27, 2012, the Company operated through subsidiaries 1,994 restaurants in the United States and Canada. In the United States, it operated 1,961 restaurants in all 50 states, including 677 Red Lobster, 786 Olive Garden, 386 LongHorn Steakhouse, 46 The Capital Grille, 30 Bahama Breeze, 23 Seasons 52, eight Eddie V’s Prime Seafood and three Wildfish Seafood Grille restaurants, and two test synergy restaurants, which house both a Red Lobster and Olive Garden restaurant in the same building. In Canada, the Company operated 33 restaurants, including 27 Red Lobster and six Olive Garden restaurants. Through subsidiaries, it owns and operates all of its restaurants in the United States and Canada, except for three restaurants located in Central Florida that is owned by joint ventures it manages. On November 14, 2011, it acquired eight Eddie V’s Prime Seafo od restaurants and three Wildfish Seafood Grille restaurants.


As of May 27, 2012, the Company had 28 restaurants outside the United States and Canada operated by independent third parties pursuant to area development and franchise agreements, including five LongHorn Steakhouse restaurants in Puerto Rico, 22 Red Lobster restaurants in Japan, and one Red Lobster restaurant in Dubai. During fiscal year ended May 27, 2012, it opened 89 net new restaurants in the United States and Canada.

Red Lobster

Red Lobster is a full-service dining seafood specialty restaurant operator in the United States. It offers a menu featuring fresh fish, shrimp, crab, lobster, scallops and other seafood. The menu includes a variety of specialty seafood and non-seafood entrees, appetizers and desserts. Red Lobster maintains different lunch and dinner menus and different menus across its trade areas.


Olive Garden

Olive Garden is a full s ervice dining Italian restaurant operator in the United Stat! es. Olive Garden’s menu includes a range of authentic Italian foods featuring fresh ingredients and a wine list that includes a selection of wines imported from Italy. The menu includes flatbreads and other appetizers, soups, salad and garlic bread sticks, baked pastas, sauted specialties with chicken, seafood and fresh vegetables, grilled meats, and a variety of desserts. Olive Garden also uses coffee imported from Italy for its espresso and cappuccino.


LongHorn Steakhouse

LongHorn Steakhouse restaurants are full-service establishments serving both lunch and dinner. With locations in 35 states, primarily in the Eastern half of the United States, LongHorn Steakhouse restaurants feature a range of menu items, including signature fresh steaks, as well as salmon, shrimp, chicken, ribs, pork chops, burgers and prime rib.

The Capital Grille

The Capital Grille has locations in metropolitan cities in the United States. The Capit al Grille offers seafood flown in daily and culinary specials created by its chefs. The restaurants feature a wine list offering over 350 selections, personalized service, and private dining rooms.

Bahama Breeze

Bahama Breeze restaurants bring guests the feeling of a Caribbean escape, offering the food, drinks and atmosphere found in the islands. The menu features Caribbean-inspired seafood, chicken and steaks, as well as signature specialty drinks. During fiscal 2012, it opened four Bahama Breeze restaurant.

Seasons 52

Seasons 52 is a grill and wine bar with seasonally inspired menus offering ingredients to meals that are lower in calories than comparable restaurant meals. It offers a wine list of more than 90 wines with approximately 60 available by the glass. As of May 27, 2012, there were 23 Seasons 52 restaurants in the United States.

Synergy restaurant

Synergy restaurant houses both a Red Lo bster and Olive Garden restaurant in the same building, but ! with sepa! rate front doors, dining rooms and brand-specific menus. It opened a second synergy test location during fiscal 2012.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By WWW.DAILYFINANCE.COM]

    Richard Levine/Alamy The “When you’re here, you’re family” casual-dining chain had a rude awakening at its annual family reunion Friday. Activist investors won the proxy battle at Olive Garden parent Darden Restaurants (DRI), and now, we’ll all get to see if the boardroom purge delivers results or makes matters worse. Friday morning’s tally at Darden’s annual shareholder meeting wasn’t a huge surprise. Investors elected all 12 of the directors that hedge fund firm Starboard Value nominated, leaving the eight nominees that Darden brought to table out of the boardroom. Starboard had just an 8.8 percent effective stake in the restaurant operator, but it had been raising a stink in recent months about Darden’s sloppy performance. Its displeasure culminated in a 294-slide presentation that took Darden to task for everything from not generating a high enough price for the sale of Red Lobster earlier this year to the lack of alcohol sales at Darden’s LongHorn Steakhouse. Most of the presentation’s critiques were directed at Olive Garden, where some of the widely circulated gems included calling the chain out for being too liberal with its breadsticks and salad dressing, failing to add salt to the water before boiling pasta, and having too many choices on the menu. Bored of Directors Darden’s woes center around the weakness at Olive Garden, where comparable-restaurant sales have fallen for five consecutive quarters. Darden also runs LongHorn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52, The Capital Grille, Eddie V’s and Yard House, but all of those better-performing chains still combine to make up a minority of the revenue mix. With Red Lobster out of the picture, Olive Garden now accounts for 57 percent of Darden’s top-line results. Darden executives had lost Wall Street’s confidence due to the pronounced weakness at Red Lobster and Olive Garden. The resignation of its CEO wasn’t enough of a sacrificial lamb for activists seeing marinara-red over the fall from grace at

  • [By WWW.DAILYFINANCE.COM]

    Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images NEW YORK — Olive Garden is defending its practice of giving customers as many breadsticks as they want, saying the policy conveys “Italian generosity.” The remark is part of a response by the chain’s parent company, Darden Restaurants (DRI), to a nearly 300-page criticism released by hedge fund Starboard Value last week. Starboard took Olive Garden and its management to task for a litany of issues, including its liberal distribution of breadsticks to customers, its failure to salt the water used to boil its pasta and even the length of the asparagus it serves. Darden’s 24-page response doesn’t specifically address each of Starboard’s criticisms, but states that the company is already implementing a variety of strategies to improve Olive Garden’s performance. The company says it has introduced new menu items to underscore value, for instance, and is testing new ordering technologies using table-top tablets.

  • [By Garrett Cook]

    Toward the end of trading Friday, the Dow traded down 0.60 percent to 16,947.43 while the NASDAQ declined 0.75 percent to 4,557.59. The S&P also fell, dropping 0.83 percent to 1,980.97.

    Leading and Lagging Sectors Cyclical consumer goods & services shares fell by just 0.50 percent in trading on Friday. Top gainers in the sector included ULTA Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance NASDAQ: (ULTA), up 17.5 percent, and 1-800-Flowers.com (NASDAQ: FLWS), up 4.5 percent. In trading on Friday, utilities shares were relative laggards, down on the day by about 1.89 percent. Meanwhile, top decliners in the sector included Companhia Energética de Minas Gerais – CEMIG (NYSE: CIG), down 4.7 percent, and CPFL Energia SA (NYSE: CPL), off 4.3 percent. Top Headline Darden Restaurants (NYSE: DRI) reported better-than-expected fiscal first quarter earnings. The Orlando, Florida-based company reported a quarterly loss of $19.3 million, or $0.14 per share, versus a year-ago profit of $42.2 million, or $0.32 per share. Excluding non-recurring items, the company earned $0.32 per share. Its sales surged to $1.6 billion versus $1.53 billion. However, analysts were expecting earnings of $0.30 per share on revenue of $1.6 billion. Equities Trading UP Conversant (NASDAQ: CNVR) shares shot up 30.25 percent to $34.79 after Alliance Data Systems (NYSE: ADS) announced its plans to buy Conversant for $35 per share. Shares of ULTA Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance (NASDAQ: ULTA) got a boost, shooting up 17.69 percent to $114.72 after the company reported upbeat second-quarter results and raised its outlook. The company also unveiled a five-year plan for impressive growth. Sportsman's Warehouse Holdings (NASDAQ: SPWH) shares were also up, gaining 15.89 percent to $7.00 after the company reported stronger-than-expected fiscal second-quarter results. Equities Trading DOWN Shares of Ruckus Wireless (NASDAQ: RKUS) were down 5.19 percent to $14.35. Buckingham