Darden Pre-Announces Earnings, Unveils Slate For Board
Darden Restaurants (NYSE: DRI) pre-announced fiscal first-quarter adjusted earnings Tuesday of $0.31 to $0.33 a share while same-store sales at its Olive Garden restaurants fell 1.3 percent. Comparable sales at its LongHorn Steakhouse chain grew 2.8 percent.
Those results are roughly in line with expectations yet shares of Darden fell about 0.9 percent on light volume in pre-market activity, but were last up 2.2 percent at $48.40.
The company, which faces a proxy battle with activist investor Starboard Value, also unveiled its 12-person slate of directors which as expected, included four Starboard representatives. Starboard seeks to replace the entire Darden board, and filed proxy materials to that effect on Thursday.
Darden last week rescheduled its annual shareholders' meeting to October 10 from September 30, saying that shareholders needed more time to study competing proxy materials.
Darden, slated to post first-quarter results September 12, said Tuesday that it expects a net loss for the recent period of $0.13 to $0.15, including charges for early retirement of debt, strategic improvements and restaurant impairment.
The company forecast fiscal 2015 same-store sales would be flat to up one percent at Olive Garden while growing one percent to two percent at LongHorn Steakhouse.
Darden re-affirmed its full-year 2015 earnings forecast of $1.81 to $1.90 a share, or adjusted earnings of of $2.22 to $2.30 a share. Analysts expect adjusted earnings of $2.22 a share.
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