Darden posts earnings of 54 cents a share vs 42 cents expected

Darden Restaurants reported earnings that beat analysts' expectations on Friday.

The company also raised its quarterly dividend to 50 cents a share.

Darden stock rose 5 percent in early trade. (Click here to track its stock.)

During the quarter, same-restaurant sales eked out a 1 percent rise at Olive Garden after shrinking both in October and November.

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

The company posted fiscal second-quarter earnings of 54 per share, up from 28 cents a share in the year-earlier period.

Revenue came in at about $1.61 billion.

Wall Street expected to deliver 42 cents per share on revenue of $1.62 billion, according to Thomson Reuters consensus estimate.