Deutsche Bank Cuts Darden Restaurants (DRI) Price Target to $96.00

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) had its price objective decreased by Deutsche Bank from $99.00 to $96.00 in a research note released on Friday. Deutsche Bank currently has a hold rating on the restaurant operator’s stock.

Other equities analysts have also recently issued research reports about the company. Argus upgraded Darden Restaurants from a hold rating to a buy rating and raised their price target for the company from $95.67 to $108.00 in a report on Thursday, December 21st. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Darden Restaurants from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $98.00 price target for the company in a report on Thursday, December 14th. Maxim Group restated a buy rating and set a $103.00 price target (up previously from $93.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Wednesday, December 20th. Mizuho started coverage on Darden Restaurants in a report on Thursday, March 15th. They set a buy rating and a $105.00 price target for the company. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus dropped their target price on Darden Restaurants from $105.00 to $100.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a report on Friday. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have issued a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $97.04.

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Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) opened at $84.25 on Friday. The firm has a market capitalization of $10,407.72, a P/E ratio of 18.27, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.60 and a beta of 0.22. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.44, a quick ratio of 0.25 and a current ratio of 0.39. Darden Restaurants has a 1-year low of $75.20 and a 1-year high of $100.11.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, March 22nd. The restaurant operator reported $1.71 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.64 by $0.07. The business had revenue of $2.13 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.15 billion. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 28.12% and a net margin of 6.92%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 13.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.32 EPS. equities research analysts expect that Darden Restaurants will post 4.77 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, May 1st. Investors of record on Tuesday, April 10th will be paid a dividend of $0.63 per share. This represents a $2.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.99%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, April 9th. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio is currently 58.47%.

In related news, CFO Ricardo Cardenas sold 10,783 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, January 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $97.17, for a total transaction of $1,047,784.11. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 20,046 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,947,869.82. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, SVP Douglas J. Milanes sold 4,300 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, January 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $97.05, for a total value of $417,315.00. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 7,513 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $729,136.65. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 74,866 shares of company stock valued at $7,252,094 over the last three months. 0.63% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of DRI. Cerebellum GP LLC bought a new stake in shares of Darden Restaurants during the 4th quarter worth approximately $126,000. Grove Bank & Trust lifted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 155.6% during the 3rd quarter. Grove Bank & Trust now owns 1,840 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $145,000 after acquiring an additional 1,120 shares during the last quarter. Cetera Advisor Networks LLC bought a new stake in shares of Darden Restaurants during the 4th quarter worth approximately $200,000. Texas Yale Capital Corp. bought a new stake in shares of Darden Restaurants during the 4th quarter worth approximately $205,000. Finally, Campbell & CO Investment Adviser LLC bought a new stake in shares of Darden Restaurants during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $208,000. 90.49% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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Darden Restaurants Company Profile

Darden Restaurants, Inc, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates full-service restaurants in the United States and Canada. As of June 27, 2017, it owned and operated approximately 1,700 restaurants under the Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen, Yard House, The Capital Grille, Seasons 52, Bahama Breeze, and Eddie V's brands.

Analyst Recommendations for Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI)

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