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Olive Garden parent Darden Restaurants reports strong sales

Heidi Chung
An order of breadsticks from a Darden Restaurants Inc. Olive Garden location. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Olive Garden parent company Darden Restaurants (DRI) reported strong sales for fiscal 2019 Q2.

Same-store sales, a key metric for restaurants, grew at a 2.1% rate, higher than consensus estimates of 2%.

Olive Garden, Darden’s largest brand, saw higher-than-anticipated same-store sales growth of 3.5% over the quarter. Analysts were expecting same-store sales growth of 3.2% for the Italian-food chain.

LongHorn Steakhouse grew 2.9% during the quarter - beating estimates of 2.4% growth.

The restaurant chain reported better-than-expected earnings of 92 cents per share versus the anticipated 91 cents per share, according to analysts polled by Bloomberg.

"We had another quarter of strong and steady performance by continuing to focus on being brilliant with the basics in our restaurants," CEO Gene Lee said in a statement. "We continued to grow market share profitably by strengthening and leveraging our competitive advantages.”

However, revenue was weaker-than-expected at $1.97 billion. Analysts were estimating $1.98 billion in revenue for the quarter.

Heidi Chung is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @heidi_chung.

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