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Darden sales growth gives lift to 2Q, boosts 2018 outlook

December 19, 2017

FILE - This Monday, June 27, 2016, file photo shows an Olive Garden restaurant, a Darden brand, in Methuen, Mass. Darden Restaurants, Inc. reports earnings Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Darden Restaurants’ fiscal second-quarter performance beat Wall Street’s view as a key sales metric improved. The restaurant owner also lifted its full-year adjusted earnings forecast.

Shares climbed more than 2 percent in Tuesday premarket trading.

For the period ended Nov. 26, the owner of Olive Garden and other chain restaurants earned $84.7 million, or 67 cents per share. A year earlier the Orlando, Florida-based company earned $79.5 million, or 64 cents per share.

Removing one-time costs and discontinued operations, earnings were 73 cents per share. That beat the 70 cents per share that analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research were calling for.

Revenue rose to $1.88 billion from $1.64 billion, helped by the addition of some new restaurants. The results topped the $1.85 billion in revenue that Wall Street expected.

Sales at restaurants open at least a year increased 3.1 percent.

Darden Restaurants Inc. now foresees full-year adjusted earnings in a range of $4.45 to $4.53 per share. Its prior guidance was for earnings between $4.38 and $4.50 per share.

Analysts polled by FactSet predict earnings of $4.44 per share.

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Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on DRI at https://www.zacks.com/ap/DRI

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