Darden sees Q3 EPS 82, consensus 93c The company estimates that lower sales and higher direct costs associated with more severe winter weather than last year adversely affected diluted net earnings per share for this year's third quarter by approximately 7c. The Company also estimates that legal, financial advisory and other costs associated with implementation of the strategic action plan it announced in December 2013 reduced diluted net earnings per share for the third quarter by approximately 6c. Darden expects U.S. same-restaurant sales for the third quarter to increase 0.3% at LongHorn Steakhouse, decline 5.4% at Olive Garden and decline 8.8% at Red Lobster. The Company estimates that blended U.S. same-restaurant sales for the third quarter for its Specialty Restaurant Group will be down approximately 0.7%.
Opco reiterates Darden as a top idea after CEO news Oppenheimer reiterates Darden as a top idea after the company removed the temporary status of CEO Gene Lee. Opco views the development as an incremental positive and reiterates an Outperform rating on the name.