Darden Restaurants posts second quarter loss of $32.8 million

Darden Restaurants Inc. reported second quarter loss of $32.8 million (26 cents per share) for the period that ended on Nov. 23.

The company generated $1.56 billion in its second quarter, a 4.9% increase from the $1.49 billion generated in the second quarter of last year.

Sales improved at Olive Garden in its second quarter, says Darden Restaurants, beating market expectations.

Sales for the company have been somewhat weak and Darden has been trying to change its business model to adapt to the changing tastes of consumers. It recently sold off its Red Lobster chain and has changed its menus and marketing campaigns.

These efforts have had mixed results though.

Its adjusted earnings for the period were 28 cents per share, ahead of what analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research expected of 27 cents per share.

Revenue from restaurants that have been open for at least a year rose by 0.5 percent for Olive Garden. The company also posted gains of 2.6% for LongHorn Steakhouse, 5.0% for The Capital Grille, 4.9% for Eddie V’s, 3.7% for Yard House and 1.2% for its Seasons 52 restaurant chains.

“Our brands performed well during the second quarter,” said Interim CEO Gene Lee. “We have been working diligently to execute our strategy, including getting back to basics while delivering the best possible guest experience. It is starting to show in both improved revenue and profitability. While it’s still early, we believe our renewed focus on operating fundamentals, coupled with our more streamlined support structure, will help us continue to grow and capture market share.”

The Company announced that its current projection is for adjusted diluted net earnings per share from continuing operations for fiscal year 2015 to be between $2.25-$2.30, an increase of between 32% and 35% compared to fiscal year 2014.

Shares of Florida based Darden Restaurants Inc. surged by 2 percent in extended trading hours on Tuesday.

Darden Restaurants, Inc., (NYSE: DRI), owns and operates more than 1,500 restaurants that generate over $6.3 billion in annual sales.