Cracker Barrel, Olive Garden Parent Darden Stop Dividends

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Photograph by Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg

Restaurants have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic as sit-down business falls off sharply, and dividend suspensions are starting to occur.

Texas Roadhouse
(Ticker: TXRH) said Wednesday that it was suspending quarterly dividends “to better manage its cash position” due to the uncertainty created by the pandemic.

The company primarily operates casual, moderately priced restaurants whose menus feature steak, chicken, seafood and other offerings.

In February, the company’s board declared a quarterly dividend of 36 cents a share that’s payable Friday, after which the dividend is suspended.

The stock was recently down about 20% this month, trailing the S&P’s performance of minus 16%.

Another restaurant operator,
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store
(CBRL), said Wednesday that it was deferring a previously declared dividend and suspending its regular dividend program. It cited uncertainties as to the duration and economic impact of the pandemic.

The stock

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