ORLANDO, Florida — Darden's fiscal first-quarter results topped Wall Street's view as a key sales metric improved. The company also boosted its full-year earnings forecast.
Its shares climbed more than 4 percent in premarket trading.
The owner of Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse and other restaurants reported Tuesday that it earned $86.4 million, or 67 cents per share, for the period ended Aug. 30. A year earlier the Orlando, Florida-based company earned $503.2 million, or $3.81 per share. The prior-year period included a large gain related to an asset sale.
For the current quarter, adjusted earnings came to 68 cents per share.
The results topped Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of 12 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 58 cents per share.
Revenue totaled $1.69 billion, also exceeding Wall Street forecasts. Eight analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $1.68 billion.
Olive Garden sales gained 3.4 percent in the quarter, with LongHorn Steakhouse sales up 7.6 percent.
Sales at restaurants open at least a year rose 3.4 percent. This figure is a key gauge of a restaurant operator's performance because it excludes results from locations recently opened or closed.
Darden Restaurants Inc. now expects full-year earnings in a range of $3.15 to $3.30 per share. Its prior guidance was for $3.05 to $3.20 per share.
Analysts polled by FactSet predict $3.14 per share.
Darden shares rose $3.22, or 4.6 percent, to $73.49 in premarket trading about 90 minutes before the market opening.
Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on DRI at http://www.zacks.com/ap/DRI
Keywords: Darden Restaurants, Earnings Report