Shares of Darden Restaurants jumped 4.5 percent Tuesday after the company reported earnings and sales that outpaced expectations and raised its forecast for fiscal 2018.
The company, which owns a large portfolio of restaurants including Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse and Yard House, saw same-store sales of its legacy brands rise 3.1 percent in the fiscal second quarter. Analysts estimated same-store sales would grow about 1.4 percent, according to StreetAccount.
"Our strong same-restaurant sales and new restaurant growth drove continued market share gains during the quarter," Darden CEO Gene Lee said in a statement. "That performance, in addition to our solid earnings growth, is a result of executing on our strategy."
For the fiscal second quarter ended Nov. 26, Darden said it earned $84.7 million, or 67 cents per share, up from earnings of $79.5 million, or 64 cents a share, a year ago.
After removing one-time costs and the impact of discontinued operations, Darden earned 73 cents a share, 3 cents better than expected by analysts in a Thomson Reuters survey.
Revenue rose to $1.88 billion from $1.64 billion. Analysts expected $1.86 billion in revenue, Thomson Reuters said.
Darden increased its full-year earnings estimates to a range of $4.45 to $4.53 per share. Previously, the company said its earnings would be in a range of $4.38 to $4.50 per share.
Also, same-store sales growth for the year is now estimated to be about 2 percent, the high end of its previous expectation of between 1 and 2 percent.
All but two of Darden's brands exceeded analysts' same-store sales expectations.