Darden Restaurants Q1 Profit Jumps 19%, but Same-Store Sales Miss View (DRI)

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Restaurant chain operator Darden Restaurants, Inc. ( DRI ) on Wednesday said its fiscal first quarter profit rose 19% from last year, aided by higher sales.

The Orlando-based company reported fiscal first quarter net income of $113.1 million, or 80 cents per share, compared with $94.3 million, or 67 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Revenue rose 4.2% from last year, to $1.81 billion.

On average, Wall Street analysts expected a smaller profit of 77 cents per share on matching revenue of $1.81 billion.

Darden said that combined same-store sales from its Olive Garden, Red Lobster and LongHorn Steakhouse restaurants open at least 16 months rose 1.1%, falling shy of analysts' estimate for a 2.3% gain.

Looking ahead, the company reaffirmed its full-year outlook for a 14% to 17% rise in earnings, which translates to $3.26 to $3.35 per share. That range is in line with analyst estimates for $3.32 per share for the year.

Darden Restaurants shares fell 97 cents, or -2.2%, in premarket trading Wednesday.

The Bottom Line
We had removed shares of DRI from our recommended list back on May 14, when the stock was trading at $44.20. The company has a dividend yield of 2.91%, based on last night's closing stock price of $44.02. The stock has technical support in the $40 price area. If the shares can firm up, we see overhead resistance around the $45-$48 price levels.

Darden Restaurants, Inc. ( DRI ) is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com DARS™ Rating of 3.4out of 5 stars.

Be sure to visit our complete recommended list of the Best Dividend Stocks , as well as a detailed explanation of our ratings system here .

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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