Bad weather bites Olive Garden, Red Lobster

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The parent company of Olive Garden and Red Lobster says bad winter weather, along with expenses related to its plan to split off its Red Lobster chain, will hurt its third-quarter net income.

Darden Restaurants Inc., which is based in Orlando, Fla., said Monday that it expects to earn about 82 cents per share for the quarter ended Feb. 23. Analysts, on average, expect a profit of $1.02 per share, according to FactSet.

Darden says the exceptionally rough winter weather reduced earnings in the quarter by about 7 cents per share. Legal, financial advisory and other costs related to the plan to either spin off or sell Red Lobster lowered its profit by 6 cents per share.

In premarket trading Monday, its shares fell $1.33, or 3 percent, to $49.73.


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