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Darden Restaurants (DRI) Beats on Earnings and Revenues

Darden Restaurants, Inc. DRI is one of the largest casual dining restaurant operators. The company has been performing well lately as comps at all its restaurant chains are gaining momentum. It seems that the efforts to grow and develop the LongHorn Steakhouse by focusing on its core menu, marketing strategy, customer relationship management, digital advertising and a strong promotional pipeline have been yielding positive results.

Moreover, the company’s Olive Garden Brand Renaissance plan – aimed to turn around its business – appears to have started reaping benefits.

Also, the company is busy reorganizing its segment structure. While in Jul 2014, the company sold one of its brands, Red Lobster, in fiscal fourth quarter 2015, the company began reporting through new segments. Then in November, the company successfully completed its spin-off of select real estate and restaurant assets into Four Corners Property Trust, Inc. Moreover, the company has laid down an aggressive cost management plan, under which it has been able to significantly reduce operating costs.

The company’s earnings have been strong over the past few quarters. Darden has delivered positive earnings surprises in the past four straight quarters. This translates to an average positive earnings surprise of 19.95% for the trailing four quarters.

Moreover, investors should note that the consensus estimate for DRI has been largely moving upwards over the last 30 days. Currently, DRI has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) but that could change following Darden’s earnings report which was just released. We have highlighted some of the key stats from this just-revealed announcement below:

Earnings: DRI beats on earnings. Our consensus earnings estimate called for earnings per share of $1.20 and the company reported earnings of $1.21 per share.

Revenues: DRI reported revenues of $1.85 billion. It beat the consensus estimate of $1.84 billion.

Key Stats to Note: The company posted comps growth of 4.2% for fiscal third quarter 2016, on a comparable calendar basis. All the brands posted positive comps in the quarter.

Darden increased its same-store sales and earnings per share guidance for fiscal 2016.

Stock Price Impact: In-active in pre-market trading.

Check back later for our full write up on this DRI earnings report later!

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