Darden Restaurants, Inc. ( DRI Quick Quote DRI - Free Report) reported fourth-quarter fiscal 2021 results, with earnings and revenues surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate. The bottom line beat the consensus mark for the 10th straight quarter, while the top line outpaced the same for the second consecutive quarter. Moreover, the metrics increased on a year-over-year basis. Following the results, the company’s shares moved up 1.8% in pre-market trading session. During fiscal fourth quarter, the company reported adjusted earnings of $2.03 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings of $1.82 by 11.5%. In the prior-year quarter, the company had reported adjusted loss per share of $1.24. Total sales during the quarter came in at $ 2,279.2 million, beating the consensus mark of $2,197 million by 3.7%. Moreover, sales increased 79.5% from the prior-year quarter’s level on solid blended same-restaurant sales of 90.4%. This along with the opening of 30 net new restaurants added to the positives. During fiscal fourth quarter 2021, overall consolidated comps fell 0.5% from 2019 levels. Sales by Segments
Darden reports business under four segments — Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Fine Dining that includes The Capital Grille and Eddie V's, and Other Business.
During fiscal fourth quarter, sales at Olive Garden increased 51% year over year to $1,103.7 million. Comps in the segment surged 61.9% in fiscal fourth quarter against a decline of 25.8% reported in the previous quarter. However, comps in the segment fell 1.5% compared with 2019 levels. Sales at Fine Dining increased 145.1% year over year to $151.2 million. Comps in the segment increased 143.6% against a fall of 45.2% in fiscal third quarter. However, comps in the segment fell 10.6% compared with 2019 levels. Sales at Other Business surged 144.9% year over year to $452.3 million. Moreover, comps in Other Business increased 160.7% against a fall of 36.9% in the prior quarter. However, comps in the segment fell 9.4% from 2019 levels. At LongHorn Steakhouse, sales were up 95.3% year over year to $572 million. Comps in the segment surged 107.5%, against a decline of 12.6% in the previous quarter. Moreover, comps in the segment increased 13.5% from 2019 levels. Operating Highlights
In fiscal fourth quarter, total operating costs and expenses increased 5% year over year to $1,955.8 million. The upside was owing to an overall rise in food and beverage costs, restaurant expenses and labor costs.
As of May 30, 2021, cash and cash equivalents came in at $1,214.7 million compared with $763.3 million as of May 31, 2020.
Inventories during fiscal fourth quarter came in at $190.8 million. Long-term debt as of May 30, 2021, was $929.8 million compared with $928.8 million as of May 31, 2020. The company declared a quarterly cash dividend of $1.10 per share, reflecting a rise of 25% from the previous quarter. The dividend will be payable on Aug 2, 2021, to shareholders of record as of Jul 9, 2021. During fiscal fourth quarter, Darden’s board of director repurchased approximately 0.3 million shares of its common stock worth approximately $38 million. As of fiscal 2021-end, the company had approximately $463.5 million remaining under the $500-million repurchase authorization. Fiscal 2021 Highlights
Total sales in fiscal 2021 came in at $7,196.1 million compared with $ $7,806.9 in fiscal 2020.
Adjusted diluted net earnings per share for fiscal 2021 came in at $4.31 compared with $3.13 in fiscal 2020.
Fiscal 2022 Outlook
For fiscal 2022, the company expects sales to be approximately $9.2-$9.5 billion. EBITDA is anticipated in the range of $1.50-$1.59 billion. Earnings per share from continuing operations are anticipated in the band of $7.00-$7.50.
The company expects to open 35-40 net new restaurants and projects total capital spending of $375-$425 million in fiscal 2022. Zacks Rank & Key Picks
Darden currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see
the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here. Some better-ranked stocks in the same space include Chuy's Holdings, Inc. ( CHUY Quick Quote CHUY - Free Report) , Dine Brands Global, Inc. ( DIN Quick Quote DIN - Free Report) and Texas Roadhouse, Inc. ( TXRH Quick Quote TXRH - Free Report) each sporting a Zacks Rank #1. Chuy's Holdings has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 127.6%, on average. Dine Brands’ 2021 earnings are expected to surge 269.3%. Texas Roadhouse has a three-five year earnings per share growth rate of 10%. More Stock News: This Is Bigger than the iPhone!
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