Landry's Shares Rise Following CEO Stock Purchase

NEW YORK (AP) ¿ Shares of restaurant chain Landry's Restaurants Inc. jumped Wednesday after the company announced its chief executive bought more of its shares earlier this month ¿ a sign one analyst said that CEO Tilman Fertitta may still want to buy the chain.

It owns Rainforest Cafe, Charley's Crab and The Chart House. Shares rose 27 cents, or nearly 3 percent, to $9.52 in afternoon trading after climbing nearly 12 percent earlier in the day.

Fertitta bought 135,300 shares on May 8 for a total value of $1.1 million at an average price of $8.80 per share. Fertitta now owns about 60 percent of the Houston company's outstanding stock.

Fertitta had previously attempted to buy the company at $13.50 per share but the deal fell through in January. Fertitta had planned to take the company private once he purchased it.

The company has said the deal was shelved because of a conflict with the Securities and Exchange Commission and its lenders about disclosing terms the lenders insisted were confidential.

C.L. King analyst Michael W. Gallo said in a note to investors that the share purchase suggests the CEO "may still want to acquire the company should the credit markets thaw."

Gallo has a "Neutral" rating on that stock.

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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