The decline comes after the company served up a lukewarm fiscal first-quarter earnings result.
The company earned $1.38 per share, beating estimates by a penny. While revenue grew 3.4% year-over-year to $2.13 billion, the result was only in-line with expectations. Further, same-store sales growth of 0.9% came up short of consensus estimates at $1.3%, although margins did top expectations.
Lastly, management's outlook was underwhelming. The company expects sales growth between 5.3% and 6.3% vs. expectations of 6.4% growth. Further, management expects earnings in the range of $6.30 to $6.45 per share, with the midpoint slightly below consensus estimates of $6.40 per share.
To say it was a mixed report would be fair, and perfectly explains why the stock fell just over 5% on Thursday. For long-term bulls, though, that pullback will represent an opportunity.
Trading Darden Restaurants
Above is a four-year weekly chart, which highlights what an excellent trend Darden stock has been riding over the past few years. The stock has been contained by channel support and channel resistance (blue lines), while trending up and to the right.
That's exactly what long-term investors love to see -- slow and steady gains.
In between the longer-term channel, investors can see a short-term channel forming as well, highlighted in purple lines. If DRI stock loses the 10-week moving average, then a test of channel support may be in the cards.
I would actually be interested on a bit deeper of a pullback. Should Darden stock drop down into the $115-ish area, it will have a confluence of support to lean on.
Specifically, it will find long-term channel support, as well as the 61.8% retracement for the one-year range. Further, the $115 mark was a big prior resistance level in 2018 that has been support all throughout 2019.
It's possible that support fails after a so-so-quarter. If it does, the 50-week moving average may be the next support level to watch. But should we get a bit more downside in DRI stock, dip-buyers may reap the rewards of this solid risk/reward setup.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author had no positions in the stocks mentioned.