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Olive Garden parent’s earnings beat, forecasts stronger sales next quarter


Diners carrying protecting masks wait exterior an Olive Garden restaurant in Thornton, Colorado, on Friday, March 19, 2021.

Chet Strange | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Darden Restaurants on Thursday reported quarterly earnings that topped analysts’ expectations as clients visited Olive Garden and its different chains greater than anticipated.

The firm is forecasting that its fiscal fourth-quarter outcomes will present it is properly on the way in which to recovering from the influence of the coronavirus pandemic.

Shares of the corporate surged 4.5% in premarket buying and selling.

Here’s what the corporate reported for the quarter ended Feb. 28 in contrast with what Wall Street was anticipating, primarily based on a survey of analysts by Refinitiv:

  • Earnings per share: 98 cents vs. 69 cents anticipated
  • Revenue: $1.73 billion vs. $1.63 billion anticipated

The firm reported fiscal third-quarter internet earnings of $128.7 million, or 98 cents per share, down from $232.three million, or $1.89 per share, a yr earlier. Analysts surveyed by Refinitiv have been anticipating earnings of 69 cents per share.

Net sales fell 26.1% to $1.73 billion, topping expectations of $1.63 billion. Darden’s whole same-store sales fell 26.7% through the quarter, down from the fiscal second quarter’s same-store sales declines of 20.6%. During the three months ended Feb. 28, many states imposed stricter mandates for eating places as new Covid-19 circumstances surged, hurting sales for the general trade.

Olive Garden, which accounts for roughly half of Darden’s income, reported same-store sales declines of 25.8%. LongHorn Steakhouse is bouncing again extra shortly, with a same-store sales decline of simply 12.6%.

Darden’s fine-dining enterprise, which incorporates The Capital Grille, stays the toughest hit by the pandemic. Its same-store sales plunged 45.2%, declining extra steeply than the prior quarter.

For Darden’s fiscal fourth quarter, the corporate is predicting whole sales of $2.1 billion and earnings per share from persevering with operations of $1.60 to $1.70. The tempo of vaccinations is accelerating, which is able to encourage extra shoppers to eat at eating places as states chill out restrictions. Darden’s same-store sales turned constructive within the week ended March 21 because it begins to lap when restaurant lockdowns have been first carried out.

For fiscal 2022, Darden expects roughly 35 restaurant openings and $350 million to $400 million in capital expenditures. Executives mentioned that it was too early to foretell earnings or sales for the next fiscal yr.

Darden additionally mentioned it plans to spend about $17 million to present hourly restaurant employees a one-time bonus and to hike wages. Starting Monday, each hourly employee at its eating places will earn no less than $10 an hour, together with tip earnings. In January, hourly wages will go as much as $11, and the next January they’re going to rise to $12 an hour.

The firm’s transfer to boost employee pay follows an early push from President Joe Biden to boost the federal minimal wage to $15 an hour, together with tipped employees. Democrats dropped the proposal from the Covid aid invoice, however they may seemingly strive once more whereas Biden is in workplace.



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