ORLANDO Fla. Despite what the company called a “challenging economic environment,” Darden Restaurants Inc. on Monday reported that its third-quarter, per-share earnings are expected to come in above expectations because of positive same-store sales at its largest chains, Red Lobster, Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse. The news sent the company’s shares up more than 7 percent in trading on Monday, as investors and analysts rewarded the company for being one of few restaurants able ...

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