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Darden Restaurants’ Stock Drops On Mixed Earnings Report

The stock of Darden Restaurants (DRI) is down 5% after the company reported mixed financial results and a decline in its same-store sales.

Darden, which owns franchise restaurants such as the Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse, announced earnings per share (EPS) of $2.62 U.S., which met Wall Street forecasts.

Revenue in the quarter totaled $2.97 billion U.S., which was below the $3.03 billion U.S. expected among analysts. The company’s sales rose 6.8% from a year earlier.

Darden’s management team said the company’s sales got a lift from its acquisition last year of Ruth’s Chris Steak House, which provided it with 53 new restaurant locations.

However, Darden’s overall same-store sales decreased 1% in the quarter as almost all its restaurant segments reported same-store sales declines.

Only LongHorn Steakhouse saw same-store sales growth during the quarter, said the company.

A year ago, Darden reported same-store sales growth of nearly 12%.

As for guidance, Darden Restaurants said it now expects earnings of $8.80 U.S. to $8.90 U.S. for this year, down from a previous forecast of $8.75 U.S. to $8.90 U.S.

Darden also lowered its revenue forecast from $11.50 billion U.S. to $11.40 billion U.S.

Before today (March 21), Darden’s stock had increased 15% over the past 12 months to trade at $174.58 U.S. per share.