Darden Restaurants (DRI
), owner of brands including Olive Garden and Red Lobster, reported quarterly net earnings from continuing operations of 80 cents per share, up from 67 cents per share a year earlier.
Sales from continuing operations were $1.81 billion in the quarter ended Aug. 29, up 4.2% from a year earlier, the company said in a statement.
Blended same-restaurant sales for Olive Garden, Red Lobster and LongHorn Steakhouse gained 1.1%. This was well below the 2.3% figure some analysts had forecast, Reuters said
. The company's stock dropped almost 2% after the results were announced Tuesday.
Darden's board declared a quarterly dividend of 32 cents per share on the company's common stock. The dividend is payable Nov. 1.
"We are pleased with our very strong financial performance this quarter and encouraged by the continued improvement in industry sales trends," CEO Clarence Otis said.