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Darden Restaurants Boosts FY19 EPS Outlook; Declares Qtly Dividend - Quick Facts

While reporting financial results for the third quarter on Thursday, Darden Restaurants, Inc. (DRI) raised its outlook for the full-year 2019, based on year-to-date results and its expected performance for the fourth quarter.

Looking ahead to fiscal 2019, the company now projects net earnings from continuing operations in a range of $5.76 to $5.80 per share, up from the prior outlook range of $5.60 to $5.70 per share.

Total sales growth for the year is now forecast at about 5.5 percent, compared to the prior projection for 5.0 to 5.5 percent growth.

Same-restaurant sales growth for the year is now expected in a range of 2.5 to 2.7 percent, compared to the previous forecast for about 2.5 percent growth.

On average, analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect the company to report earnings of $5.70 per share on sales growth of 5.4% to $8.52 billion for the year. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Darden's Board of Directors also declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.75 per share on the Company's outstanding common stock, payable on May 1, 2019 to shareholders of record at the close of business on April 10, 2019.

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