The owner of Olive Garden jumps after beating earnings and raising guidance (DRI)

Olive Garden

Darden Restaurants beat on both the top and bottom lines.
The restaurant owner raised its full-year profit guidance.
Shares are up more than 3% early Thursday.
Watch Darden Restaurants trade in real time here.

Shares of Darden Restaurants, the owner of many US restaurant brands such as Olive Garden, jumped 3%ahead of Thursday’s opening bell after reporting quarterly results that beat on both the top and bottom lines and raising its full-year profit guidance.

The multi-brand restaurant operator earned an adjusted $1.34 per share for its first quarter, topping the $1.24 that analysts surveyed by Bloomberg were expecting. Total sales increased 6.5% versus a year ago to $2.06 billion, edging out the $2.03 billion that was anticipated. Meanwhile, comparable sales were up 3.3%, beating the 2.1% increase that was expected by analysts.

“We are pleased to report another quarter of strong results and market share gains,” CEO Gene Lee said in the press release. “Our competitive advantages continue to work hard for us, allowing us to invest in our people and brands to deliver exceptional guest experiences.”

Looking ahead, the company lifted its full-year profit guidance to between $5.52 and $5.65 per diluted share, up from its previous estimate of $5.40-$5.56. Analysts surveyed by the Bloomberg were expecting $5.56 per share. The company also estimates the full-year total sales to be $8.46 billion, topping the $8.44 billion that was expected.

Darden Restaurants is up 28% this year through Wednesday.

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Source:: Business Insider

Ethereum cofounder apologizes for old blog post where he wrote about having sex with a preteen girl, which he says was fiction

Gavin Wood

Ethereum cofounder Gavin Wood has apologised for a now-deleted blog post he wrote in 2013.
BuzzFeed republished elements of the blog post, which resurfaced last year on Reddit and featured a story about Wood having sex with a preteen girl dying from AIDS.
Wood tweeted a lengthy statement apologizing for the blog and stressing that it is a work of fiction, designed to “spark debate and conversation” about the nature of consent.

Ethereum cofounder Gavin Wood has apologized after a now-deleted blog post from 2013, in which he wrote about having sex with a dying preteen girl named Elizabeth, returned to haunt him.

Wood, who left Ethereum in 2016, tweeted a lengthy statement after BuzzFeed republished elements of his blog post, which first resurfaced on a Reddit cryptocurrency group last year. Wood said the story was a work of fiction. Business Insider has contacted Wood and Ethereum for comment.

In the now-deleted post from Wood’s old blog, “Insights Into a Modern World,” he describes having sex with a girl named Elizabeth. The post describes Elizabeth as a girl he used to babysit who contracts AIDS. According to BuzzFeed, Elizabeth, who would have been 11 or 12 in the story, then asks an 18-year-old Wood to have sex with her before she dies. The blog post then describes the sexual encounter.

Wood said in a statement that the account is entirely fictional and was intended to spark debate about the nature of consent. “My story is fiction and was written purely as a literary thought-experiment in the context of current events,” he said.

BuzzFeed conducted an investigation and could find no record of a girl named Elizabeth dying in Lancashire County, UK, where Wood grew up, around the time he describes in his blog. BuzzFeed noted, however, that Wood wrote in the blog …read more

Source:: Business Insider

Gmail’s polarizing Smart Replies will soon be optional for desktop users

Google plans to give desktop users the ability to turn off Gmail’s new Smart Replies in the coming weeks, the Wall Street Journal reports. The feature, which arrived alongside the service’s recent redesign, attempts to provide short phrases which you can use to automatically respond to emails, but has faced criticism for suggesting some inappropriate responses.

The redesign is set to become the default for all 1.4 billion of Gmail’s active accounts next month, after its rollout started back in April. Although Google has said that it’s manually tweaked its algorithm to remove the most inappropriate Smart Reply responses (an earlier version of the software would reportedly respond using both “Sent from my iPhone” and “I love you” with…

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Source:: The Verge – All Posts

Trump accuses ‘OPEC monopoly’ of pushing oil prices higher, and says ‘they must get oil prices down now!’

trump offshore drilling oil wind energy

President Donald Trump tweeted that oil prices are too high, and called for the “OPEC monopoly” to “get prices down!”
Trump seems to have threatened to withdraw US military resources from the Middle East if OPEC members in the region don’t work to lower prices.
He has consistently complained that oil prices are too high.
Oil drops as a result of the tweet. You can follow its price live at Markets Insider.

President Donald Trump on Thursday once again tweeted his belief that major oil producers in the Middle East are conspiring to keep oil prices high, seemingly threatening to withdraw military resources from the region if producers do not help to lower prices.

“We protect the countries of the Middle East, they would not be safe for very long without us, and yet they continue to push for higher and higher oil prices!” he said in an early morning tweet. “We will remember. The OPEC monopoly must get prices down now!”

Oil prices have increased from around $50 per barrel last September, to more than $70 per barrel today, with a rebalancing of the supply and demand disparity in the market, as well as major weather and geopolitical events playing a part.

Trump’s tweet pushed oil prices lower, with the price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil — the US benchmark — falling from $71.28 per barrel to a low of $70.86, a drop of around 0.58%. Oil remains is still up about 1.8% over the past week.

Trump has consistently complained that oil prices are too high, following a significant uptick in prices which has been passed on at the pump to US drivers.

High gas prices can be an issue for voters, and Trump’s attacks come just a couple of months ahead of US midterms, where analysts say rising prices could hurt …read more

Source:: Business Insider