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Darden Restaurants Raises Guidance After Q2 Earnings Beat

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Darden Restaurants Raises Guidance After Q2 Earnings Beat

Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE: DRI) reported its fiscal second-quarter adjusted EPS above estimates, despite a higher-than-expected tax rate.

The Analyst

Stephens’ Will Slabaugh maintained an Overweight rating on Darden Restaurants, with an unchanged $135 price target.

The Thesis

Darden’s Q2 results indicated 3.5 percent growth in Olive Garden same-store sales versus the consensus forecast of around 3 percent. At 92 cents per share, the company’s adjusted EPS beat expectations by 2 cents, mainly on strong revenues, Slabaugh said.

Quarterly costs remained broadly in-line, while there was a headwind of around 4 cents per share due to higher taxes. LongHorn recorded same-store sales growth of 2.9 percent, ahead of the consensus estimate of 2.2 growth. Cheddar's business remained soft as expected.

Following the upbeat quarterly performance, Darden once again raised its FY2019 EPS guidance. The company upped its same-store sales projection to 2.5 percent growth, while revising EPS guidance from $5.52-$5.65 to $5.60-$5.70. This compares favorably with the consensus expectation of $5.65.

Darden continues to target total sales growth of 5 percent-5.5 percent, Slabaugh mentioned.

Price Action

Shares of Darden Restaurants rose 5.4 percent Tuesday afternoon to $104.23.

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Photo credit: Mike Mozart, Flickr

 

Latest Ratings for DRI

DateFirmActionFromTo
Nov 2020BTIGDowngradesBuyNeutral
Nov 2020BairdUpgradesNeutralOutperform
Nov 2020Cowen & Co.MaintainsMarket Perform

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