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Darden Restaurants posted better-than-expected quarterly profits after the closing bell Monday, but downwardly revised its guidance for full-year same-store sales growth. Comparable same-store sales growth refers to sales at stores open at least one year and is a closely watched metric in the restaurant industry.
"The opportunity for sales upside and opportunity for other cost cuts to offset possible higher commodities in
the second half of fiscal 2011 and in fiscal 2012
will be key to the stock's performance in 2011," noted JPMorgan Chase analysts.
JPMorgan had an overweight rating on the stock and $56 price target.
Darden said it now expects comps to grow 2% this year, compared with its prior forecast for growth between 2% and 3%.
Disappointed investors bid Darden shares 3.3% lower ahead of the opening bell Tuesday.
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