Darden posts earnings of 68 cents a share on revenue of $1.69B

An Olive Garden restaurant in New York.
Scott Mlyn | CNBC

Darden Restaurants reported quarterly earnings that beat analysts' expectations on Tuesday.

After the earnings announcement, the company's shares rose in premarket trading. (Get the latest quote here.)

Sales rose for the sixth straight quarter as changes to the menu at its Olive Garden restaurants attracted more customers.

Darden, which has been undergoing organizational changes under largest shareholder Starboard Value, said same-restaurant sales rose 2.7 percent at Olive Garden in the first quarter.

The company's net income fell to $86.4 million, or 67 cents per share, in the quarter ended Aug. 30 from $503.2 million, or $3.81 per share, a year earlier.

Last year's profit had included a gain on the sale of discontinued operations.

The company posted adjusted earnings of 68 cents per share, up from 32 cents a share in the year-earlier period.

Revenue increased to $1.69 billion from $1.60 billion a year ago.

Wall Street expected Darden to deliver adjusted earnings per share of 58 cents on revenue of $1.68 billion, according to a Thomson Reuters .

Company-owned same store sales were expected to rise 2.7 percent, according to a Consensus Metrix estimate.

Reuters contributed to this report.