Darden (DRI) Reports Q4 Results Above Expectations

The history of Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) dates back to 1938 when its founder Bill Darden opened his first store, called The Green Frog, in Waycross, Georgia. The popularity of seafood at his restaurant inspired Darden to open his first Red Lobster restaurant in 1968, laying the foundation of Darden Restaurants in its current form.  Today, it operates restaurants in the U.S. and Canada under several brand names such as Red Lobster, LongHorn Steakhouse, and Olive Garden (see 10 biggest fast food chains in the world).

The Orlando-based company recently announced better-than-expected financial results for the fourth quarter, helped by improved same-store sales and the addition of new restaurants. Darden earned $2.79 per share for the three months ended May 30, versus a loss of $3.85 per share in the year-ago quarter.

Darden reported earnings of $2.03 per share on an adjusted basis, ahead of analysts’ average estimate of $1.79 per share. Revenue for the quarter climbed nearly 80 percent on a year-over-year basis to $2.28 billion, beating the consensus forecast of $2.2 billion.

Speaking on the results, CEO Gene Lee said, “We had a strong quarter that exceeded our expectations as sales improved throughout the quarter. I am proud of how our teams welcomed more of our guests back and created memorable experiences. Over the last 15 months, we have made numerous strategic investments in our business, while streamlining our operations and improving productivity. Given the business transformation work we have done, and the demand we are seeing from the consumer, we are well positioned to thrive in this operating environment.”

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Darden also issued its financial outlook for fiscal 2022. It is anticipating earnings in the range of $7 per share to $7.50 per share on revenue of $9.2 to $9.5 billion for the full year.

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