Darden Restaurants' Q3 Earnings Miss Estimates Bitten By Omicron

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  • Darden Restaurants Inc DRI reported third-quarter FY22 sales growth of 41.3% year-on-year, to $2.45 billion, missing the consensus of $2.51 billion. Same-restaurant sales increased 38.1%.
  • Darden clocked an operating margin of 12.3%, and the operating income jumped 103.4% Y/Y to $301 million. EBITDA was $395 million.
  • EPS of $1.93 missed the consensus of $2.12.
  • Darden generated an operating cash flow of $916.5 million during the nine months. It held $606.8 million in cash and equivalents as of February 27, 2022.
  • The number of company-owned restaurants rose by 33 to 1,855.
  • Darden's Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $1.10 per share on the common stock, payable on May 2, 2022, to shareholders of record on April 8, 2022.
  • "It began with record sales in December. However, the Omicron variant significantly impacted guest demand, restaurant staffing and operating expenses in January," said Chairman and CEO Gene Lee.
  • Guidance: Darden sees FY22 sales of $9.55 billion – $9.62 billion versus the consensus of $9.61 billion. 
  • It expects FY22 EPS of $7.30 - $7.45, below the consensus of $7.50.
  • The restaurant chain expects same-restaurant sales growth of 29%-31% versus FY21.
  • Price Action: DRI shares are trading lower by 1.67% at $128.75 in premarket on the last check Thursday.
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