Darden Restaurants, Inc. Announces Board Changes
Sep 25 14
Starboard Value LP announced that Glass Lewis & Co., LLC has recommended that Darden shareholders vote on Starboard's WHITE proxy card to elect all twelve of Starboard's highly qualified nominees, Betsy S. Atkins, Margaret Shan Atkins, Jean M. Birch, Bradley D. Blum, Peter A. Feld, James P. Fogarty, Cynthia T. Jamison, William H. Lenehan, Lionel L. Nowell, III, Jeffrey C. Smith, Charles M. Sonsteby, and Alan N. Stillman, to the Darden board of directors at the upcoming 2014 Annual Meeting of Shareholders.
Teamsters Shareholder Group Files New Suit Against Darden Restaurants over Red Lobster Sale
Sep 24 14
Darden Restaurants is facing a second lawsuit from a Teamsters shareholder group in Connecticut over the controversial sale of Red Lobster in July. The new suit, filed on behalf of Teamsters Local 443 Health Services and Insurance Plan in Connecticut, says that executives of the Orlando-based company painted Red Lobster as a lost cause while in private discussions they announced they believed that the chain's woes were reversible.
Darden Restaurants, Inc. Declares Quarterly Dividend, Payable on November 3, 2014; Reports Unaudited Consolidated Earnings Results for the First Quarter Ended August 24, 2014; Provides Earnings Guidance for the Second Quarter, Third Quarter, Fourth Quarter and Full Year of Fiscal 2015
Sep 12 14
Darden Restaurants, Inc.'s Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of 55 cents per share on the company's outstanding common stock, equating to a $2.20 per share dividend on an annual basis. The dividend is payable on November 3, 2014 to shareholders of record at the close of business on October 10, 2014.
The company reported unaudited consolidated earnings results for the first quarter ended August 24, 2014. For the quarter, the company reported sales of $1,595.8 million compared to $1,531.5 million a year ago. Loss before income taxes was $43.7 million compared to earnings before income taxes of $49.8 million a year ago. Loss from continuing operations was $19.3 million or $0.14 per diluted share compared to earnings from continuing operations of $42.2 million or $0.32 per basic and diluted share a year ago. Net cash provided by operating activities was $44.6 million compared to $217.0 million a year ago. Purchases of land, buildings and equipment were $88.6 million compared to $174.3 million a year ago. The increase in sales for the first quarter of this fiscal year reflects the operation of 55 net new restaurants compared to the first quarter last fiscal year and same restaurant-sales increases for LongHorn Steakhouse and the company's specialty restaurants, slightly offset by a same-restaurant sales decline for Olive Garden. Sales decline was driven by a same-restaurant sales decrease of 1.3% for the quarter, which was 70 basis points below the industry benchmark, but an improvement of 250 basis points versus the previous quarter's industry sales gap.
The company also commented on its sales and earnings expectations for fiscal year 2015. The company announced that it expects diluted net earnings per share from continuing operations of $1.74 to $1.84 for fiscal 2015. On an adjusted basis, the company continues to anticipate diluted net earnings per share from continuing operations of $2.22 to $2.30 for the year, which excludes the cost of shared support incurred prior to the sale of Red Lobster that moved to Red Lobster with the sale, costs the company expects to incur in connection with implementation of its strategic action plan, asset impairment charges and debt breakage costs. The company estimates that annual effective tax rate will be approximately 10%.
For the second quarter of 2015, the company expects diluted net earnings per share from continuing operations of $0.21 to $0.23 and adjusted diluted net earnings per share from continuing operations of $0.26 to $0.28.
For the third quarter of 2015, the company expects diluted net earnings per share from continuing operations of $0.80 to $0.84 and adjusted diluted net earnings per share from continuing operations of $0.80 to $0.84.
For the fourth quarter of 2015, the company expects diluted net earnings per share from continuing operations of $0.87 to $0.91 and adjusted diluted net earnings per share from continuing operations of $0.87 to $0.91.