Market Focus

Darden Restaurants

Darden Restaurants reported an 18 percent decline in earnings. The parent of Red Lobster and Olive Garden said those two chains continued to lag. Still earnings matched analysts expectations and despite weakness, the company reaffirmed its guidance for the year. Darden also reiterated plans to spin-off Red Lobster, despite push back from activists who want the company to put the move to a shareholder vote. Shares rose more than 2.5 percent to $50.66.

Tiffany

A sizable settlement with Swatch took a huge chunk out of Tiffany’s fourth-quarter earnings. The luxury goods retailer missed estimates on both the top and bottom lines and its guidance came in below Street estimates. Shares were off a fraction to $90.73.

Ann Inc.

Private Equity firm Golden Gate Capital revealed a more than nine percent stake in Ann Inc, the parent company of Ann Taylor and Ann Taylor Loft. That sent shares of the company way up in today’s session. The firm is now the largest shareholder in the women’s apparel retailer. The stock surged about 13 percent to $42.05.

Blackberry

Blackberry reached a deal to sell most of its real estate in Canada in an effort to turnaround its business. The struggling smart phone maker gave few details about how the company is doing when it reports earnings next week. Today shares fell 2.5 percent to $9.18.

Media General & Lin Media

Media General will buy Lin Media for $1.6 billion. The deal will create the second largest local TV broadcast company in the United States. Shares of Media General rose a fraction to $17.44, but Lin Media skyrocketed more than 22 percent to $26.32.

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