Darden Restaurants Inc. (NYSE:DRI) was upgraded by equities research analysts at Raymond James Financial Inc. from an “underperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a note issued to investors on Tuesday.
DRI has been the subject of several other research reports. Jefferies Group reissued a “hold” rating and set a $64.00 price objective (down previously from $66.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Saturday, July 2nd. Zacks Investment Research lowered Darden Restaurants from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 26th. BMO Capital Markets reissued a “hold” rating and set a $64.00 price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Thursday, September 1st. Piper Jaffray Cos. reissued an “overweight” rating and set a $76.00 price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Thursday, August 25th. Finally, BTIG Research reissued a “buy” rating and set a $75.00 price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Friday, July 1st. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have assigned a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $69.89.
Shares of Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) traded up 0.69% on Tuesday, hitting $63.00. 117,927 shares of the stock were exchanged. The company has a 50 day moving average of $61.94 and a 200 day moving average of $63.57. Darden Restaurants has a 52-week low of $53.38 and a 52-week high of $68.68. The company has a market cap of $7.75 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.34 and a beta of 0.41.
Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 4th. The restaurant operator reported $0.88 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.82 by $0.06. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 24.97% and a net margin of 5.73%. The company earned $1.71 billion during the quarter. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.68 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 1.6% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts forecast that Darden Restaurants will post $3.92 earnings per share for the current year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 1st. Investors of record on Monday, October 10th will be issued a $0.56 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, October 5th. This represents a $2.24 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.58%. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio is presently 72.03%.
In related news, SVP Danielle L. Kirgan sold 28,127 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.47, for a total value of $1,757,093.69. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 15,989 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $998,832.83. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, SVP Danielle L. Kirgan sold 8,780 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, October 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.47, for a total value of $548,486.60. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 15,989 shares in the company, valued at $998,832.83. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.69% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of DRI. CENTRAL TRUST Co boosted its position in Darden Restaurants by 16.5% in the second quarter. CENTRAL TRUST Co now owns 1,799 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $114,000 after buying an additional 255 shares in the last quarter. Krilogy Financial LLC increased its stake in Darden Restaurants by 1.6% in the second quarter. Krilogy Financial LLC now owns 2,133 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $135,000 after buying an additional 33 shares during the last quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. increased its stake in Darden Restaurants by 9.0% in the second quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 2,369 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $150,000 after buying an additional 195 shares during the last quarter. M&R Capital Management Inc. purchased a new stake in Darden Restaurants during the second quarter worth about $158,000. Finally, Citizens Financial Group Inc RI increased its stake in Darden Restaurants by 320.0% in the first quarter. Citizens Financial Group Inc RI now owns 2,520 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $167,000 after buying an additional 1,920 shares during the last quarter. 94.45% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
Darden Restaurants Company Profile
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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