Darden Restaurants First Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) will unveil its latest earnings on Friday, September 21, 2012. Darden Restaurants operates a full-service dining restaurant industry in the United States.

Darden Restaurants Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average analyst estimate is for profit of 84 cents per share, a rise of 7.7% from the company’s actual earnings for the year-ago quarter. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from 89 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It has risen from 83 cents during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 7.5% versus last year to $3.85.

Past Earnings Performance: The company fell in line with estimates last quarter after topping forecasts the quarter before. After coming in above the mean estimate by one cent in the third quarter of the last fiscal year, the company fell in line with expectations by reporting net income of $1.15 per share last quarter.

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A Look Back: In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, profit rose 10% to $151.2 million ($1.15 a share) from $137.5 million (99 cents a share) the year earlier, meeting analyst expectations. Revenue rose 3.8% to $2.07 billion from $1.99 billion.

Stock Price Performance: Between June 21, 2012 and September 17, 2012, the stock price rose $4.09 (8.1%), from $50.39 to $54.48. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between October 3, 2011 and October 13, 2011, when shares rose for nine straight days, increasing 12.4% (+$5.15) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between November 15, 2011 and November 25, 2011 when shares fell for eight straight days, dropping 7.3% (-$3.49) over that span.

Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $2.03 billion in revenue this quarter, a rise of 4.6% from the year-ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $8.74 billion for the year, a rise of 9.3% from last year’s revenue of $8 billion.

Key Stats:

On the top line, the company is looking to build on four-straight revenue increases heading into this earnings announcement. Revenue rose 7.5% in the first quarter of the last fiscal year, 6.1% in the second quarter of the last fiscal year and 9.3% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year before increasing again in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year of the last fiscal year.

Heading into this earnings announcement, net income has dropped 3.8% on average for the last four quarters.

Analyst Ratings: There are 14 out of 26 analysts surveyed (53.8%) rating Darden Restaurants a buy.

Balance Sheet Analysis: The company’s current ratio of assets to liabilities came in at 0.43 last quarter. The current ratio is an indication of a firm’s liquidity and ability to meet creditor demands and generally, a ratio less than one could indicate a company may have difficulty meeting current obligations.

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(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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