Updated from 9:04 a.m. EST
Darden Restaurants's (DRI) - Get Report Olive Garden chain continued to show strength as the parent company reported in-line results for the fiscal 2017 second quarter and reaffirmed its full-year outlook.
Shares were up 1.08% to $76.50 in Tuesday morning trading, and have gained about 20% so far this year.
Before the market open, the Orlando, Fla.-based company said adjusted earnings grew 18.5% from a year ago to 64 cents a share, while revenue rose 2.1% to $1.64 billion.
Analysts surveyed by FactSet were looking for a profit of 64 cents a share and sales of $1.65 billion for the period.
Total same-store sales increased 1.7% during the second quarter, with Olive Garden's same-store sales up 2.6%, Longhorn Steakhouse's up 0.1% and The Capital Grille's up 1.2%.
This marks the ninth straight quarter that both Olive Garden and its parent company reported an uptick in same-store sales.
"We had another strong quarter with same-restaurant sales growth significantly outperforming the casual dining industry benchmarks, especially at Olive Garden," CEO Gene Lee said in a statement.
Olive Garden's revenue for the quarter increased 2.5% from a year ago to $915 million, topping estimates of $911 million.
The Italian restaurant benefited from a 21% increase in to-go orders compared to a year ago, as well as the Buy One Take One and Never Ending Pasta Bowl promotions, Lee said on a conference call this morning.
For fiscal 2017, Darden Restaurants continues to expect to report earnings between $3.87 and $3.97 per share and a same-restaurant sales increase of roughly 1.0% to 2.0% despite a slowdown in the restaurant industry as a whole.
The sector saw a 1% decline in traffic during the third quarter, down from flat traffic in the first two quarters of the year, according to a release by The NPD Group earlier this month.
"When I look at the industry today, I think there's more competition for discretionary dollars than there has been in the past," Lee said on the call.
"Those all have increased significantly over the years, and I think people are making choices," Lee said.
Darden Restaurants owns the restaurant concepts Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52, Eddie V's and Yard House as well.