Shares of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE: DRI) were trading higher by more than 3 percent early Tuesday morning after the company reported its fiscal fourth-quarter results and issued guidance for the coming year.
Darden Restaurants, the parent company of Olive Garden and other restaurant chains, earned $1.18 per share on revenue of $1.93 billion. Wall Street analysts were expecting the company to earn $1.15 per share on revenue of $1.87 billion.
Looking forward to full fiscal year 2018, Darden expects to earn $4.38 to $4.50 per share; analysts were already modeling the company to earn $4.43 per share.
Stephens: ‘Solid’ Results
Darden’s fourth-quarter report was “solid,” especially when considering Olive Garden’s 4.4 percent same-store sales gains, Stephens’ Will Slabaugh stated in a brief research report. In fact, the quarter also marks a continuation of Olive Garden’s “consistently strong” top-line results at a time when overall restaurant trends are “somewhat volatile” (see Slabaugh‘s track record).
Darden’s report also marks the 10th consecutive quarter of at the very least meeting earnings per share expectations, the analyst added. However, expectations for continued momentum moving forward is already priced in to the stock’s premium valuation of 9.8x 2018 EBITDA.
Shares remain Equal-Weight rated with an unchanged $85 price target.
At time of publication, shares were up 3.01 percent at $92.79.