Darden Restaurants, Inc. Fourth Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) will unveil its latest earnings on Thursday, June 30, 2011. Darden Restaurants, Inc operates in the United States full-service dining restaurant industry.

Darden Restaurants, Inc. Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average analyst is estimating net income of 99 cents per share, a rise of 15.1% from the same quarter a year ago. Estimates range from profit of 98 cents per share to net income of $1.05 per share. Over the past three months, the consensus estimate has moved down from $1. Over the past month, the consensus estimate has moved down from $1. For the year, analysts are projecting profit of $3.41 per share, a rise of 17.2% from last year.

Past Earnings Performance: The company topped forecasts last quarter after being in line with estimates the quarter prior. In the third quarter, it reported net income of $1.08 per share versus a mean estimate of $1.05. Two quarters ago, it reported profit of 54 cents per share.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $1.99 billion in revenue this quarter, a rise of 5.9% from the year ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $7.5 billion for the year, from last year’s revenue of $7.13 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts are bullish on this stock with 20 analysts rating it as a buy and none rating it as a sell. While the average rating for the stock remains a moderate buy, the rating is on steadier footing than three months ago.

Key Stats:

The company has now seen net income rise in three-straight quarters. In the third quarter, net income rose 12.6% while it rose 23.5% in the second quarter and 19.9% in the first quarter.

Revenue has now gone up for three straight quarters. In third quarter, revenue rose 5.5% to $1.98 billion while the figure rose 5.2% in the second quarter from the year earlier and 4.2% in the first quarter.

Competitors to Watch: Ruth’s Hospitality Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:RUTH), Bravo Brio Restaurant Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:BBRG), Granite City Food & Brewery Ltd. (NASDAQ:GCFB), O’Charley’s Inc. (NASDAQ:CHUX), Ark Restaurants Corp. (NASDAQ:ARKR), Morton’s Restaurant Group, Inc. (NYSE:MRT), Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. (NASDAQ:RRGB), and McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant (NASDAQ:MSSR), Wendy’s Arby’s Group Inc. (NYSE:WEN), Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX), Sonic Corporation (NASDAQ:SONC), Yum! Brands Inc. (NYSE:YUM), Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE:CMG), and Jack in the Box Inc. (NASDAQ:JACK).

Stock Price Performance: From a month ago, the stock price has dropped $2.30 (-4.5%) from $50.98 on May 25, 2011 to $48.68 on June 23, 2011. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between October 28, 2010 and November 5, 2010 when shares rose for seven-straight days, rising 6% (+$2.71) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between April 1, 2011 and April 11, 2011 when shares fell for seven-straight days, falling 3.4% (-$1.64) over that span. Shares are up $2.87 (+6.3%) year to date.

(Source: Xignite Financials)

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