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Darden Analysts Breakdown Q4 Results: Olive Garden Lags, LongHorn Steakhouse Outperforms

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Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) on Thursday reported better-than-expected results for its fourth quarter.

The results came amid an exciting earnings season. Here are some key analyst takeaways.

BofA Securities On Darden Restaurants

Analyst Sara Senatore maintained a Buy rating, while raising the price target from $180 to $185.

LongHorn Steakhouse’s performance has continued to outpace the casual dining industry by 480 basis points (bps) in sales and by 430 bps in transaction growth, Senatore said in a note. “While Olive Garden outpaced the industry on traffic (60 bps), it lagged on sales comps (70 bps) suggesting that it’s not fully offsetting its lower pricing with better traffic,” she added.

“We subscribe to Darden’s view that slower input cost growth – commodities and labor – is a natural counterweight to slower demand growth and continue to believe that DRI can meet or exceed its long term growth algorithm, albeit with the balance of growth shifted to margin expansion,” the analyst further wrote.

BMO Capital Markets On Darden Restaurants

Analyst Andrew Strelzi reiterated a Market Perform rating …

Full story available on Benzinga.com

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