Darden Restaurants Inc. Second Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) will unveil its latest earnings on Friday, December 16, 2011. Darden Restaurants operates a full-service dining restaurant industry in the United States.

Darden Restaurants, Inc. Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for profit of 43 cents per share, a decline of 20.4% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from 55 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It also has dropped from 54 cents during the last month. For the year, analysts are projecting net income of $3.59 per share, a rise of 5.3% from last year.

Past Earnings Performance: Last quarter, the company saw profit of 78 cents per share versus a mean estimate of net income of 78 cents per share. This comes after two consecutive quarters of exceeding expectations.

Investing Insights: Here’s Why Chipotle’s Stock Keeps Winning.

Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts are projecting a rise of 5.8% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $1.83 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts are bullish on this stock with 18 analysts rating it as a buy, none rating it as a sell and nine rating it as a hold.

A Look Back: In the first quarter, profit fell 5.7% to $106.6 million (78 cents a share) from $113.1 million (80 cents a share) the year earlier, meeting analyst expectations. Revenue rose 7.5% to $1.94 billion from $1.81 billion.

Key Stats:

The decrease in profit in the first quarter broke a streak of three consecutive quarters of year-over-year profit increases. Net income rose 18.9% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, 12.6% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year and 23.5% in the second quarter of the last fiscal year.

Revenue has risen the past four quarters. Revenue rose 6.8% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year from the year earlier, climbed 5.5% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year from the year-ago quarter and 5.2% in the second quarter of the last fiscal year.

Competitors to Watch: Grill Concepts, Inc. (GLLC), Landry’s Restaurants, Inc (LNY), 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).

Stock Price Performance: During November 11, 2011 to December 12, 2011, the stock price had dropped $3.66 (-7.7%) from $47.41 to $43.75. 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, rising 13.5% (+$5.56) 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, falling 7.3% (-$3.49) over that span. Shares are down $1.24 (-2.8%) year to date.

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

Investing Insights: Here’s Why Chipotle’s Stock Keeps Winning.