B. Riley & Co. LLC, a full service broker dealer providing research, investment banking, sales and trading, has announced that it will be expanding its research to cover the restaurant sector. The firm also announced that Conrad Lyon, CFA, CPA has joined the firm as a senior research analyst dedicated to covering the sector with a focus on casual and fast casual dining.

“With the consumer environment mired in uncertainty and the volatility in restaurant stocks, we felt it was particularly timely to add restaurant coverage that is unique and proprietary,” said Ian Corydon, director of research.

Lyon initiates with coverage of five companies, including BJ’s Restaurants Inc., Buffalo Wild Wings Inc., Cheesecake Factory Inc., Jamba Inc., and Texas Roadhouse Inc. He also assumes coverage of California Pizza Kitchen Inc.

“Casual dining restaurants have and will continue to face challenges with consumer behavior,” Lyon said. “How and why consumers decide to use specific brands will change over the next few years. These changes, and how restaurant companies react to them, will provide distinct investment opportunities that we are excited about assessing.”

Lyon joined B. Riley’s Los Angeles office from Global Hunter Securities, where he was a managing director and senior equity analyst covering the consumer sector with a focus on restaurants. Prior, he was a director and senior equity analyst at FTN Midwest securities and an equity analyst with KeyBanc Capital Markets, during which time he covered restaurant companies.

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