Feb 22 Olive Garden parent Darden Restaurants
Inc warned that its third-quarter profit would be below
Wall Street estimates, as a severe winter kept customers away.
The company expects blended U.S. same-restaurant sales at
its Olive Garden, Red Lobster and LongHorn Steakhouse to be down
about 4.5 percent in the third-quarter ending Feb. 24.
Darden said earnings were likely to be between $1.00 and
$1.02 per share. Analysts on an average are expecting a profit
of $1.13 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The Orlando, Florida-based company's shares were up
marginally before the bell on Friday. They closed at $44.74 on
Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange.