Darden’s profit drops 29% on higher costs, ‘difficult’ environment

ORLANDO Fla. Darden Restaurants Inc. reported a 29.5-percent year-over-year drop in profit for the second quarter ended Nov. 25, with results weighed down by its October acquisition of Rare Hospitality International Inc., a “difficult consumer environment” and a “tougher than anticipated cost environment.”

Because of the shortfall, Darden cut its per-share earnings forecast for the fiscal year ending in May. The company now expects annual earnings per share to

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