|11:42 EDT||TXRH, DRI, CAKE, EAT, DIN, BJRI||Casual dining stocks fall after Darden issues profit warning|
A number of casual dining stocks are dropping after a major player in the sector, Darden Restaurants (DRI) predicted that its earnings per share in its second quarter ended November 25 would be significantly below analysts' expectations. Darden, which operates Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants, expects its earnings per share in the second quarter to be 25c-26c, versus analysts' consensus estimate of 47c. Moreover, Darden predicted that its U.S. same-restaurant sales would sink 2.7%. Finally, the casual dining operator provided FY13 earnings per share guidance of $3.29-$3.49, versus analysts' consensus estimate of $3.88. Darden's promotions last quarter "did not resonate with financially stretched consumers as well as newer promotions from competitors," said Darden CEO Clarence Otis, adding that the company would look to change its promotions soon. In late morning trading, Darden dropped 9.86% to $47.25. Other casual dining companies also retreated, with The Cheesecake Factory (CAKE) falling 5.31% to $32.25, BJ's Restaurant (BJRI) giving back 4.10% to $32.96, Brinker (EAT) declining 3.16% to $28.92,Texas Roadhouse (TXRH) losing 3.65% to $16.09, and DineEquity (DIN) falling 1.85% to $61.56.