Darden Restaurants Issues FY23 Guidance; Increases Dividend

Darden Restaurants, Inc. (DRI) announced, for fiscal 2023, the company expects: total sales of $10.2 to $10.4 billion; same-restaurant sales growth of 4% to 6%; and net earnings per share from continuing operations of $7.40 to $8.00.

Fourth quarter earnings from continuing operations declined to $281.7 million from $369.0 million, prior year. Earnings from continuing operations was $2.24 compared to $2.79. Analysts on average had expected the company to earn $2.21 per share, according to figures compiled by Thomson Reuters. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Total sales increased 14.2% to $2.60 billion driven by a blended same-restaurant sales increase of 11.7% and sales from 33 net new restaurants. Analysts on average had estimated $2.54 billion in revenue.

Darden's Board authorized a new share repurchase program under which the company may repurchase up to $1 billion of its outstanding common stock. The repurchase program replaces the previously existing share repurchase authorization.

Darden's Board declared a quarterly dividend of $1.21 per share, a 10% increase from third quarter fiscal 2022. The dividend is payable on August 1, 2022 to shareholders of record at the close of business on July 8, 2022.

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