Argus Research analyst John Staszak has downgraded shares of Cracker Barrel Old Country after the Lebanon-based restaurant and retail company reported solid fiscal first-quarter profits but said its traffic trends will remain soft for a while. Staszak now rates Cracker Barrel, which closed last Wednesday (Ticker: CBRL) above $130, at 'hold' and says he sees "little room for P/E multiple expansion in the near term."
Separately, veteran local restaurant analyst Bob Derrington — who this summer moved to Telsey Advisory Group — has trimmed his price target for Cracker Barrel to $142 from $155 on the back of the Q1 results. Derrington in late October had lowered his target from $165.
J. Alexander’s Holdings director Frank Martire has in the past week spent almost $215,000 to build his stake in the restaurant company. Martire was named to the board of West End-based J. Alexander’s in September, just before the company returned to the New York Stock Exchange. He is the executive chairman of Fortune 500 company Fidelity National Information Services and was that company’s CEO from 2009 to early this year.
Martire's recent purchases have more than doubled his stake in J. Alexander’s (Ticker: JAX), which has climbed about 10 percent since being spun out of Fidelity National Financial nearly two months ago.
Catching up on two recent news items from West End-based Cumberland Pharmaceuticals:
First, the company said an Illinois judge has ruled in its favor in a patent case related to its Acetadote product. Industry giant Mylan Labs and other companies had challenged Cumberland’s patent to a new formulation of Acetadote but the court granted the local company its patent through the summer of 2025 and issued a permanent injunction preventing other firms from marketing a generic version of Acetadote until then.
Separately, Cumberland executives have ended their relationship with Pernix Therapeutics, which had been handling parts of the supply chain, sales and promotion of Cumberland’s Omeclamox-Pak treatment for H. pylori infections and other ulcer diseases. Instead, Cumberland will now work with Gastro-Entero Logic — which helped develop Omeclamox-Pak and get regulatory approval for the treatment — and bring the drug’s promotion work in house.
Healthcare Realty Trust has paid nearly $28 million for a three-story medical office building on the campus of Northwest Hospital in Seattle. The deal is the latest in a number of Washington acquisitions for the Nashville-based real estate investment trust, which finished 2014 with $210 million invested in the Evergreen State. The Puget Sound Business Journal has more details here.
BB&T Capital Market analyst Anthony Chukumba has raised his rating on shares of Dollar General to 'buy' from 'hold.' The move came after the stock (Ticker: DG) slid nearly 10 percent in the past month to the low $60s. Chukumba sees it climbing to $78.
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