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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