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Stock Alert: Darden Restaurants Shares Up 5% On Upbeat Q2 Outlook

Shares of Darden Restaurants Inc. (DRI) are rising over 5% Thursday morning, after the company issued upbeat guidance for the second quarter, while reporting better-than-expected Q1 earnings. The stock has been trading in the range of $26.15 - $124.01 for the past one year, and is currently trading at $95.00, up $5.00 or 5.56% in the regular trading session Thursday.

For the second quarter, the company expects net earnings from continuing operations in a range of $0.65 - $0.75 per share on total sales of about 82% of prior year sales.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect the company to report earnings of $0.35 per share on a sales decline to 13.7% to $1.78 billion for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude certain special items.

Darden's Board reinstated a quarterly dividend and declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.30 per share on the company's outstanding common stock. The dividend is payable on November 2, 2020 to shareholders of record at the close of business on October 9, 2020.

Additionally, the company still expects to open 35 to 40 net new restaurants and have total capital spending of $250 million - $300 million for the full year.

Q1 Results

The company's Q1 net income was $37.3 million or $0.28 per share compared to $171.8 million or $1.38 per share last year. Excluding items, Darden Restaurants Inc. reported adjusted earnings of $73.1 million or $0.56 per share for the period. Analysts expected earnings $0.05 per share for the quarter. The company's revenue for the quarter fell 28.2% to $1.53 billion from $2.13 billion last year.

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