Darden Restaurants, Inc. Declares Regular Quarterly Dividend, Payable on May 1, 2015; Reports Unaudited Consolidated Earnings Results for the Third Quarter and Nine Months Ended February 22, 2015; Provides Earnings Guidance for the Fourth Quarter and Full Year of Fiscal 2015; Announces Asset Impairment for the Third Quarter of Fiscal 2015
Mar 20 15
Darden Restaurants, Inc. announced that the company's Board of Directors declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.55 per share on the company's outstanding common stock. The dividend is payable on May 1, 2015 to shareholders of record at the close of business on April 10, 2015.
The company reported unaudited consolidated earnings results for the third quarter and nine months ended February 22, 2015. For the quarter, the company reported net earnings of $133.8 million or $1.05 per diluted share on sales of $1,730.9 million compared to net earnings of $109.7 million or $0.82 per diluted share on sales of $1,618.5 million a year ago. Earnings before income taxes was $147.1 million compared to $89.1 million a year ago. Earnings from continuing operations was $128.4 million or $1.01 per diluted share compared to $86.6 million or $0.65 per diluted share a year ago. Reported net earnings per diluted share from continuing operations for the third quarter were positively impacted by approximately $0.02. This includes approximately: an increase of 5 cents of tax benefits related to the final disposition of the interest in the aquaculture investment; a decrease of 2 cents related to impairments of excess land parcels held for sale; and a decrease of 1 cent for other strategic action costs associated with the evaluation of the real estate portfolio. Adjusted diluted net EPS from continuing operations was $0.99 compared to $0.71 a year ago.
For the nine months period, the company reported net earnings of $604.2 million or $4.64 per diluted share on sales of $4,885.7 million compared to net earnings of $199.7 million or $1.50 per diluted share on sales of $4,635.5 million a year ago. Earnings before income taxes was $48.8 million compared to $140.8 million a year ago. Earnings from continuing operations was $78.3 million or $0.60 per diluted share compared to $134.9 million or $1.02 per diluted share a year ago. Net cash provided by operating activities of continuing operations was $556.0 million compared to $506.4 million a year ago. Purchases of land, buildings and equipment was $230.1 million compared to $337.5 million a year ago. The company delivered solid improvement in the financial results is due to the hard work of the teams to grow same-restaurant sales and control costs.
For the third quarter of fiscal 2015, the company also announced asset impairment, net of $4.4 million.
The company projects fourth quarter earnings per diluted share of $0.91 to $0.94, an increase of between 69% and 74% from the fourth quarter of 2014. Diluted net EPS from continuing operations is expected to be in the range of $0.91 - $0.94. Adjusted diluted net EPS from continuing operations is expected to be in the range of $0.91 - $0.94.
The company has increased expectations for fiscal 2015. The current projected range for annual adjusted earnings per diluted share is projected to be between $2.45 and $2.48 (or $1.50 and $1.53 on an unadjusted basis) an increase of between 43% and 45% from fiscal 2014, which reflects the impact of the accelerated share repurchase program on the annual weighted average share count. This reflects the expectation that the company's combined U.S. same-restaurant sales growth this fiscal year will be 2.0% to 2.5% and the positive $0.05 per share impact of a 53rd operating week in the fiscal year. Diluted net EPS from continuing operations is expected to be in the range of $1.50 - $1.53. Adjusted diluted net EPS from continuing operations is expected to be in the range of $2.45 - $2.48.
Darden Restaurants Exploring All Real Estate Options
Mar 20 15
Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) is considering all options for real estate, including sale and leaseback deals. Chief Executive Officer of Darden said, "We're still evaluating our (real estate) options very, very carefully."
Darden Looks To Sell Its Orlando Headquarters
Mar 13 15
Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) is looking to sell its Orlando headquarters building and then lease back the offices and has hired real estate broker Eastdil Secured for the same. Chief Executive Officer Gene Lee of Darden Restaurants said central Florida will remain the company's home but that it's no longer prudent to own the building.