Darden said that bad winter weather hurt sales at some of its restaurants. Sales at Red Lobster restaurants open in the U.S. at least a year declined 6.6 percent in the quarter. The figure fell 4.1 percent for Olive Garden locations in the U.S. and dropped 1.6 percent for LongHorn Steakhouse.
The company reaffirmed its fiscal 2013 earnings forecast of $3.06 to $3.22 per share. Analysts predict earnings of $3.17 per share.
It still anticipates revenue will climb 6 percent to 7 percent. Based on the prior year's revenue of $8 billion, this implies about $8.48 billion to $8.56 billion.
Wall Street expects revenue of $8.52 billion.
Darden's board also declared a quarterly dividend of 50 cents per share. The dividend will be paid on May 1 to shareholders of record on April 10.
Darden Restaurants shares rose 66 cents, or 1.4 percent, to close at $49.62 Friday. They have traded in a 52-week range of $44.11 to $57.93.
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