Darden Restaurants Inc. (NYSE:DRI) gapped up before the market opened on Tuesday following a better than expected earnings announcement. The stock had previously closed at $61.33, but opened at $61.36. Darden Restaurants shares last traded at $61.83, with a volume of 4,668,681 shares traded.
The restaurant operator reported $0.88 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.82 by $0.06. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 21.95% and a net margin of 5.41%. The firm had revenue of $1.71 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.72 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.68 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 1.6% compared to the same quarter last year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 1st. Stockholders of record on Monday, October 10th will be issued a $0.56 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, October 5th. This represents a $2.24 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.65%. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 76.98%.
Several equities research analysts have recently issued reports on DRI shares. Zacks Investment Research raised Darden Restaurants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $76.00 target price on the stock in a report on Wednesday, June 15th. Tigress Financial raised Darden Restaurants from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, June 23rd. Wells Fargo & Co. reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $79.00 target price (up from $74.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Monday, June 27th. Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $70.00 target price on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Tuesday, June 28th. Finally, Robert W. Baird reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and issued a $70.00 target price on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Tuesday, June 28th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have assigned a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $70.63.
In related news, Director James P. Fogarty bought 3,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, July 7th. The stock was bought at an average price of $61.70 per share, for a total transaction of $185,100.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now directly owns 7,890 shares in the company, valued at $486,813. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Company insiders own 0.69% of the company’s stock.
Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Schroder Investment Management Group raised its stake in Darden Restaurants by 291.5% in the second quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 1,725,904 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $109,319,000 after buying an additional 1,285,004 shares in the last quarter. WBI Investments Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Darden Restaurants during the second quarter worth about $57,165,000. Numeric Investors LLC increased its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 228.9% in the second quarter. Numeric Investors LLC now owns 1,272,100 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $80,575,000 after buying an additional 885,300 shares during the last quarter. Bank of Montreal Can acquired a new position in shares of Darden Restaurants during the second quarter worth about $53,974,000. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 5.3% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 12,676,075 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $802,903,000 after buying an additional 640,845 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 94.57% of the company’s stock.
The firm has a market cap of $7.82 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.39 and a beta of 0.41. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $62.00 and a 200 day moving average price of $63.88.
About Darden Restaurants
Darden Restaurants, Inc is a full-service restaurant company. The Company owned and operated 1,536 restaurants through its subsidiaries in the United States and Canada, as of May 29, 2016. The Company’s segments include Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Fine Dining (which includes The Capital Grille, and Eddie V’s Prime Seafood and Wildfish Seafood Grille (Eddie V’s)) and Other Business (which includes Yard House, Seasons 52, Bahama Breeze, consumer-packaged goods and franchise revenues).
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