Darden Restaurants reported Second-Quarter Earnings for Fiscal 2017

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Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE: DRI) announced its earnings for the second quarter ended November 27, 2016. The company had strong performance in the last quarter with increasing sales and earnings.  In the statement, the company reported its sales from continuing operations in the second quarter rose 2.1% to $1.64 billion, which is lower than analysts’ expectation of $1.72 billion. Profits reached $79.5 million, or $0.64 per share in the quarter ended November, in line with analyst estimate and increased from $43.2 million, or $0.33 per share the same period last year.

Same-restaurant sales rose 1.7% for the second quarter, which was below analysts’ estimates of 1.8%. 2.6% increase were form Olive Garden, surpassing analysts’ expectation of 2%. In addition, 1.2% increase was from the Capital Grille, 0.7% from Yard House, and 2.7% from Eddie V’s.

“We had another strong quarter with same-restaurant sales growth significantly outperforming the casual dining industry benchmarks, especially at Olive Garden,” Gene Lee, the CEO of the company, said in the statement. “We remain laser-focused on our operating philosophy rooted in food, service and atmosphere, and creating memorable experiences for our guests.”

The company said that the strong performance in the second quarter was boosted by its pasta promotion’s success, in which 21,000 people bought all-you-can-eat-for-seven-weeks meal tickets in less than a second.  In the statement, the company reaffirmed its earnings for the whole year. Diluted net earnings per share is expected to be between $3.87 to $3.97 per share, and same-restaurant sales of around 1.0% to 2.0%.

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