Darden Earnings Jump
Darden Restaurants (DRI) posted a 20% rise in second-quarter earnings amid sales growth at both its big chains, Olive Garden and Red Lobster.
For the quarter ended Aug. 26, the casual-dining chain owner earned $105.9 million, or 72 cents a share, up from $88.5 million, or 59 cents a share, a year earlier.
Earnings from continuing operations rose to 73 cents a share from 62 cents last year. Analysts expected earnings of 70 cents a share, according to Thomson Financial.
Sales rose to $1.47 billion from $1.36 billion last year. Analysts projected a top line of $1.46 billion.Same-store sales at the Red Lobster chain jumped 7% in the quarter, while same-store sales at Olive Garden climbed 4.8%. "We are pleased to deliver strong operating results in what continues to be a challenging environment," said Drew Madsen, president and chief operating officer of Darden, in a statement. Darden reiterated that it expects combined U.S. same-restaurant sales growth in fiscal 2008 of between 2% and 4% for Red Lobster and Olive Garden. The company projects 10% to 12% for the fiscal year, excluding one-time items. Darden owns 680 Red Lobster restaurants and 621 Olive Gardens. The company also owns 23 Bahama Breeze and 73 Smokey Bones restaurants. In August, Darden agreed to buy Rare Hospitality (RARE), owner of the LongHorn Steakhouse and Capital Grille chains, for $1.4 billion.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV