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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Darden to spin off or sell Red Lobster chain as profits slide, (NYSE: DRI)

Darden Restaurants Inc said it would sell or spin off its struggling Red Lobster chain, bowing to pressure from activist investor Barington Capital Group after reporting another quarter of sliding profits.The hedge fund was pushing Darden to split into two companies - one that operates its mature Olive Garden and Red Lobster chains and another for its growing brands such as LongHorn Steakhouse and Seasons 52.Barington has said a split could push Darden's stock to between $71 and $80. Darden shares were down 3 percent at $51.38 in early trading.Stephen Anderson of Miller Tabak & Co said he expects a sale of Red Lobster, despite weak recent results, could bring in "somewhere between $2.0 billion and $2.5 billion."

Darden Restaurants, Inc. is a full service restaurant company. Shares of DRI remained unchanged at $52.92. In the past year, the shares have traded as low as $44.11 and as high as $55.25. On average, 1921630 shares of DRI exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 175911.