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Darden Spikes on Earnings Beat

Darden is soaring a day after it reports better-than-expected quarterly earnings.

ORLANDO, Fla. (

TheStreet

) --

Darden Restaurants

(DRI) - Get Report

is spiking a day after it reported better-than-expected second-quarter earnings.

Despite lowering its sales outlook, Darden saw shares gain 6.5% to $34.89 in Friday afternoon trading.

During the quarter, Darden, which owns Red Lobster and The Capital Grille, among others, earned $60.3 million, or 43 cents a share, a penny above analysts' expectations. That compares with a profit for Darden of $59.7 million, or 43 cents, in the year-ago period.

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Darden's revenue fell to $1.64 billion from $1.67 billion last year, while its same-store sales sank 4.7%. By division, Darden's comparable sales slipped 1.4% at Olive Garden, plunged 8.4% at Red Lobster and 6.2% at LongHorn Steakhouse.

Looking ahead, Darden said sales will fall between 2% and 3% for the full year. It previously forecast sales between a 2% decline and 1% increase.

But Darden's EPS is expected to be flat to up 4%.

-- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York.

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