Darden Restaurants (DRI) First Quarter 2024 Results

A customer carries a bag of Olive Garden groceries in Pittsburg, California, United States, Friday, December 9, 2022.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Darden Restaurants on Thursday reported first-quarter earnings and revenue that beat analysts’ expectations as owner of Ruth’s Chris Steak House.

But same-store sales in Darden’s gourmet segment fell more than expected, indicating that consumers are spending less on meals at upscale restaurants.

Shares of the company fell more than 1% in premarket trading.

Here’s what the company reported for the quarter ended Aug. 27, compared to what Wall Street expected, based on a survey of analysts by LSEG, formerly known as Refinitiv:

  • Earnings per share: $1.78 adjusted versus $1.74 expected
  • Revenue: $2.73 billion versus $2.71 billion expected

Darden reported net income of $194.5 million, or $1.59 per share, in the first quarter, compared with $193 million, or $1.56 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the restaurant company earned $1.78 per share from continuing operations.

Net sales increased 11.6% to $2.73 billion.

Darden’s same-store sales, excluding Ruth’s Chris, increased 5% in the quarter.

The company won’t include Ruth’s Chris in its same-store sales results until it has owned the steakhouse chain for 16 months. The $715 million acquisition was finalized in mid-June.

LongHorn Steakhouse was the best performer in Darden’s portfolio this quarter. The chain reported same-store sales growth of 8.1%, beating StreetAccount’s estimates of 6.1%.

Darden also reiterated its outlook for fiscal 2024. The company expects net sales of $11.5 billion to $11.6 billion, same-store sales growth of 2.5% to 3.5% and profit per share adjusted from continuing operations of $8.55 to $8.85.

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