Darden Restaurants Backs FY23 Outlook; Declares Dividend - Update

Darden Restaurants Inc. (DRI), while reporting weak earnings and higher sales in its first quarter, Thursday reaffirmed its forecast for fiscal 2023.

In pre-market activity on the NYSE, Darden Restaurants shares were losing around 3.1% to trade at $127.26.

The company continues to expect net earnings per share from continuing operations of $7.40 to $8.00, and total sales of $10.2 billion to $10.4 billion for the year.

On average, 27 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect earnings of $7.7 per share for the year. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Analysts expect sales for the year to be $10.29 billion.

Same-restaurant sales are still expected to grow 4 percent to 6 percent. The company projects 55 to 60 new restaurant openings.

Darden President & CEO Rick Cardenas, said, "We had a solid quarter and we saw more normal seasonality return to our business, which we did not experience last year. Darden's strategy, together with the breadth of our brand portfolio, our team members' passion to serve, and the strength of our balance sheet, gives me confidence in our ability to continue to win."

Further, Darden's Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $1.21 per share, payable on November 1 to shareholders of record at the close of business on October 10.

As of the end of the fiscal first quarter, the company had around $912 million remaining under the current $1 billion repurchase authorization.

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