Shares of Olive Garden parent Darden jump after earnings, revenue beat


Darden Restaurants on Thursday raised its fiscal 2019 outlook and beat analysts’ expectations for its quarterly earnings and revenue.

Shares of the company rose nearly 4 percent in premarket trading.

“Our strong top-line results exceeded the industry this quarter resulting in significant market share gains,” CEO Gene Lee said in a statement.

Here’s what the company reported compared with what Wall Street was expecting, based on a survey of analysts by Refinitiv:

  • Earnings per share: $1.80, adjusted, vs. $1.75 expected
  • Revenue: $2.25 billion vs. $2.24 billion expected
  • Same-store sales growth: 2.8 percent vs. 2.2 percent expected

Olive Garden’s parent company reported fiscal third-quarter net income of $223.6 million, or $1.79 per share, up from $217.8 million, or $1.73 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, Darden earned $1.80 per share, beating the $1.75 per share expected by analysts surveyed by Refinitiv.

With one quarter left in fiscal 2019, the company raised its full-year outlook. It now expects total sales growth of 5.5 percent, on the high end of the prior range of 5.0 percent to 5.5 percent. Darden also raised its earnings per share to a range of $5.76 to $5.80 from a prior outlook of $5.60 to $5.70 per share.

Net sales rose 5.5 percent during the third quarter to $2.25 billion, topping expectations of $2.24 billion.

Overall, the Orlando-based company reported same-store sales growth of 2.8 percent, topping estimates of 2.2 percent. Olive Garden, which accounts for roughly half of its revenue, saw same-store sales growth of 4.3 percent, largely due to menu mix.

Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, Yard House, Seasons 52 and Bahama Breeze all saw same-store sales decline during the quarter ended Feb. 24.

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