Darden Restaurants stock up 1.6% on strong earnings, dividend

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Darden Restaurants stock up 1.6% on strong earnings, dividend

Darden Restaurants Inc. DRI's shares rose by 1.6% in Thursday premarket trading after it reported a fiscal fourth-quarter earnings beat, raised its dividend and announced a $1 billion share repurchase program. Net income was $281.7 million, or $2.24 per share, down from $368.5 million, or $2.78 per share last year. Sales of $2.603 billion were up from $2.279 billion last year. The FactSet consensus was for EPS of $2.21 and sales of $2.504 billion. Same-restaurant sales rose 11.7%, far exceeding the FactSet consensus for a 9.2% increase. Olive Garden rose 6.5%, Longhorn Steakhouse rose 10.6%, and the fine dining segment, which includes names like The Capitale Grille, soared 34.5%. A dividend of $1.21 per share, up 10% from the third quarter, was due to shareholders of record on August 1, 2022, as of July 8, 2022. For fiscal 2023, Darden is guiding sales of $10.2 billion to $10.4 billion, same-restaurant sales growth of 4% to 6% and operating earnings from $7.40 to $8.00. The FactSet consensus is for sales of $10.229 billion, same-restaurant sales growth of 4.4% and EPS of $8.10. The stock of Darden is down 23.6% for the year to date, while the S&P 500 index SPX is down 21.1% for the period.