Bloomin’ Brands Inc. stock soared 9.7% after the restaurant company said it was exploring strategic alternatives including a sale of the company. “Over the past few years Bloomin’ Brands has made significant progress towards its long term objectives to elevate the customer experience, capitalize on the emerging off-premises segment, expand the rapidly growing international business, and improve operating margins,” said David Deno, chief executive officer, in a statement. “However, despite this continued progress, we believe the current stock price does not reflect the value of the company. That is why the time is right to explore strategic alternatives that have the potential to maximize value for our shareholders.” The company says it has no timetable for a decision. For the third quarter, net income totaled $9.2 million, or 11 cents per share, up from $4.1 million, or 4 cents per share, in 2018. Adjusted EPS was 10 cents, in line with FactSet expectations. Revenue of $967.1 million, up from $965.0 million and ahead of the FactSet consensus of $966.0 million. Total U.S. same-restaurant sales fell 0.2%, with same-restaurant sales rising for Outback Steakhouse (up 0.2%), Carrabba’s Italian Grill (up 0.1%) and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar (up 0.4%). Same-restaurant sales fell 2.2% for Bonefish Grill. For 2019, Bloomin’ maintained EPS expectations of $1.44 to $1.52 and adjusted EPS expectations for $1.53 to $1.61. The FactSet consensus is for $1.55. Bloomin’ brands stock is up 17.1% for the year to date, but down 2.6% for the past year. The S&P 500 index is up 22.7% for 2019 so far.
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