Citadel Advisors Buy 5.5 Percent Of Brinker International

Citadel Advisors LLC has purchased 4,008,981 shares of Brinker International, Inc., according to a 13G filed with the SEC. The value oriented hedge fund run by Ken Griffin, is now the third largest shareholder of the company, with a 5.5% stake. Citadel Advisors’ stake is worth approximately $120 million.

In November, Brinker International, Inc. (NYSE:EAT) announced that Chairman, CEO and President Doug Brooks will turn over the CEO and President posts to Wyman Roberts, the current Chili’s President. Brooks will remain Chairman through ‘13 to ensure a successful transition.

EAT President and CEO Brooks will step down by year end ’12 but remain as Chairman through ’13. Brooks has been with Brinker 35 years, working closely with founder Norman Brinker. As for his replacement, Roberts spent the most recent seven years at Brinker, with the last three as Chili’s president, a position he will retain. Prior to Brinker, Roberts was CMO at NBC’s Universal, which had followed 17 years at Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI), a competitor of Brinker International, Inc. (NYSE:EAT).

Brinker International, headquartered in Dallas, Texas, owns, operates, and franchises 1,500 restaurants, including a growing franchised international presence. The Chili`s Grill & Bar concept provides the bulk of revenue and profit. The very successful Maggiano`s Little Italy concept is an upscale, niche concept that operates more than 40 units.

For the 13 weeks ended 26 September 2012, Brinker International, Inc. (NYSE:EAT) revenues increased 2% to $683.5M. Net income increased 18% to $27.9M. Revenues reflect Comp. Store Sales (Growth-%) -Dom. Franch increase from 0.2 to 3.7%, Company sales increase of 2% to $663.7M. Net income benefited from Lease termination charges related to res decrease of 43% to $400K (expense), Interest expense decrease of 2% to $6.9M (expense).

Disclosure: No position