Darden Restaurants Beats Adjusted EPS with Ruth’s Chris Sales Boost | ORBITAL AFFAIRS

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The Success of Darden Restaurants Driven by Ruth’s Chris Steak House


Darden Restaurants (DRI) recently reported better-than-expected adjusted profit for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2024, largely driven by the acquisition of Ruth’s Chris Steak House. The company, known for operating popular chains like Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse, saw a significant boost in earnings thanks to the addition of new Ruth’s Chris locations.

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Key Takeaways

  • Darden Restaurants exceeded adjusted profit estimates due to the success of Ruth’s Chris Steak House.
  • Same-store sales at other restaurant chains remained flat.
  • CEO Rick Cardenas highlighted strong results despite challenging economic conditions.

Financial Performance

In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2024, Darden Restaurants reported adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of $2.65, surpassing analysts’ consensus estimate of $2.61. The company’s revenue also increased by 6.8% year-over-year to $2.96 billion, slightly below expectations. The positive financial results were primarily attributed to the addition of 80 new Ruth’s Chris locations and 37 other net new restaurants following the acquisition of Ruth’s Chris for $715 million.

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While same-store sales, excluding Ruth’s Chris, remained unchanged from the previous year, there were variations across different restaurant chains. Olive Garden experienced a 1.5% decline in same-store sales, while fine dining locations saw a 2.6% decrease. In contrast, LongHorn Steakhouse recorded a 4.0% increase in same-store sales.

CEO’s Perspective

CEO Rick Cardenas acknowledged the challenging economic conditions that emerged during the latter part of the fiscal year but emphasized the company’s resilience in delivering strong results. Despite facing a tougher operating environment than anticipated, Darden Restaurants managed to outperform expectations and maintain a positive outlook for the future.

Looking ahead to fiscal 2025, Darden anticipates adjusted EPS in the range of $9.40 to $9.60, with projected revenue between $11.8 billion and $11.9 billion. The company also expects same-store sales growth of 1.0% to 2.0%, reflecting its confidence in continued success and growth opportunities.

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Market Response

Following the announcement of its financial results, Darden Restaurants’ stock price rose by 1.3% to $153.93 as of Thursday morning. Despite a 6% year-to-date decline, investors responded positively to the company’s performance and future prospects. The market’s reaction indicates confidence in Darden’s ability to navigate challenges and capitalize on opportunities in the competitive restaurant industry.


The success of Darden Restaurants in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2024 underscores the importance of strategic acquisitions and operational efficiency in driving growth and profitability. With Ruth’s Chris Steak House contributing significantly to its financial performance, Darden has demonstrated resilience and adaptability in a changing economic landscape. CEO Rick Cardenas’ leadership and strategic vision have positioned the company for continued success in the coming years, as reflected in its optimistic outlook for fiscal 2025.

For more information on Darden Restaurants’ financial performance and strategic initiatives, please visit Investopedia.

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