Darden Restaurants Earnings: Stock Climbs as Investors Cheer This Data

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S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Darden Restaurants Inc. (NYSE:DRI) reported its results for the first quarter. Darden Restaurants operates a full-service dining restaurant industry in the United States.

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Darden Restaurants Inc. Earnings Cheat Sheet

Results: Net income for Darden Restaurants Inc. rose to $110.8 million (85 cents per share) vs. $106.6 million (78 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 3.9% from the year-earlier quarter.

Revenue: Rose 4.8% to $2.03 billion from the year-earlier quarter.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: Darden Restaurants Inc. beat the mean analyst estimate of 83 cents per share. It fell short of the average revenue estimate of $2.11 billion.

Quoting Management: “We’re pleased with our very solid start to the fiscal year,” said Clarence Otis, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Darden. “Red Lobster’s sales held up well given the exceptional same-restaurant sales results in last year’s first quarter and its margins expanded, Olive Garden had meaningful sales and margin improvement and LongHorn Steakhouse and the Specialty Restaurant Group continued to have good sales momentum. We also benefitted from our diverse food basket, with a decline in seafood costs on a year over year basis moderating the significant spike in the cost of beef.”

Key Stats:

The company has now seen its net income increase for three consecutive quarters. In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, net income rose 10% and in the third quarter of the last fiscal year, the figure rose 8.5%.

Revenue has risen for the last four quarters. Revenue increased 3.8% to $2.07 billion in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year. The figure rose 9.3% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year from the year earlier and climbed 6.1% in the second quarter of the last fiscal year from the year-ago quarter.

The company beat estimates last quarter after being in line with expectations in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year with net income of $1.15 per share.

Looking Forward: Expectations for the company’s next-quarter results are lower than they have been. Over the past sixty days, the average estimate for second quarter has fallen from 52 cents per share to 47 cents. For the fiscal year, the average estimate has moved down from $4.09 a share to $3.88 over the last sixty days.

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(Company fundamentals provided by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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