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Darden Restaurants Initiates Weak FY20 Outlook; Boosts Qtly Dividend 17%

While reporting financial results for the fourth quarter on Thursday, Darden Restaurants, Inc. (DRI) initiated financial outlook for the full-year 2020, with is a 53-week fiscal year. The outlook includes the impact of the additional week.

For fiscal 2020, the company projects net earnings from continuing operations in a range of $6.30 to $6.45 per share. This includes about $0.15 related to the additional 53rd week.

Total sales growth for the year is now forecast in the range of 5.3 to 6.3 percent, including about 2 percent growth related to the 53rd week. Same-restaurant sales growth for the year is expected in a range of 1.0 to 2.0 percent.

On average, analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect the company to report earnings of $6.46 per share on sales growth of 7.0 percent to $9.13 billion for the year. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Darden's Board of Directors also declared a 17 percent higher regular quarterly cash of $0.88 on the Company's outstanding common stock, payable on August 1, 2019 to shareholders of record on July 10, 2019.

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