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Olive Garden, Red Lobster owner cuts profit outlook, citing failed promotions

Darden Restaurants Inc. is cutting its profit forecast for the year, with the owner of Olive Garden and Red Lobster blaming failed promotions and negative publicity generated by its tests to limit health care costs for workers.

Darden's stock tumbled 8 percent.

Orlando, Fla.-based Darden, which operates the Red Lobster, Olive Garden and other chains, said it expects a profit from continuing operations of 25 cents or 26 cents per share for its second quarter, which ended Nov. 25.

The company said it expects costs related to its acquisition of the Yard House USA Inc. chain to reduce profit from continuing operations by about 5 cents per share and costs related to Superstorm Sandy to reduce it by about 1 cent.

Analysts had expected earnings of 46 cents per share.

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