Darden raises 2011 outlook on costs

Company says winter weather hurting 3Q sales

Darden Restaurants Inc. raised its outlook for the year based on new cost projections, but said severe weather was hurting sales in the third quarter.

The company said Monday that 2011 earnings from continuing operations are now expected to increase 17 percent to 18 percent from 2010 earnings of $2.86 per share. Darden had earlier projected earnings growth between 14 percent and 17 percent.

The earnings outlook is based on projections of a blended same-store sales increase betwe

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