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Darden Restaurants Reports Higher Q3 Results; Lifts Outlook (DRI)

Before Friday’s opening bell, the parent company of Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse, Darden Restaurants (DRI ), reported higher results for the third quarter, which came in above analysts’ estimates.

DRI's Earnings in Brief

  • Darden reported earnings of $133.8 million, or $1.05 per share, up from $109.7 million, or 82 cents per share, last year.
  • Excluding special items, EPS was 99 cents – above analysts’ view of 84 cents.
  • Revenue increased 6.9% to $1.73 billion from $1.62 billion. Analysts expected to see revenue of $1.72 billion.
  • Looking forward, DRI expects to see Q4 EPS between 91 cents and 94 cents. Analysts expect to see EPS of 89 cents.
  • For FY2015, EPS is expected to be in the range of $1.50 -$1.53, while adjusted EPS is expected to be between $2.45 and $2.48. The company previously expected to see adjusted earnings between $2.25 and $2.30. Analysts expect to see FY2015 EPS of $2.30.

CEO Commentary

Chief Executive Eugene “Gene” Lee commented: “Our strategy of getting back to basics and elevating the food, service, and atmosphere in our restaurants to deliver the best possible guest experience is driving these sales and profitability improvements."

DRI's Dividend

Darden declared its next 55 cent quarterly dividend. The dividend will be paid on May 1 to shareholders of record on April 10.

DRI Dividend Snapshot

As of market close on March 19, 2015

DRI dividend yield annual payout payout ratio dividend growth

Click here to see the complete history of DRI dividends.

Stock Performance

Shares of DRI were up $3.03, or 4.67% during premarket trading Friday. The stock is up 10.64% YTD.

The Bottom Line

Darden Resturants (DRI ) is not recommended at this time, holding a DARS™ Rating of 3.4 out 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.