Darden Restaurants (DRI) Given a $130.00 Price Target by Bank of America Analysts

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Bank of America set a $130.00 price objective on Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) in a research note published on Friday. The firm currently has a buy rating on the restaurant operator’s stock.

DRI has been the subject of a number of other reports. Buckingham Research initiated coverage on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Friday, January 11th. They issued a buy rating for the company. Maxim Group reiterated a buy rating and issued a $122.00 price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Wednesday, January 16th. Zacks Investment Research reiterated a hold rating and issued a $108.00 price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Monday, December 31st. Barclays reduced their price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants from $133.00 to $129.00 and set an overweight rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, November 29th. Finally, Wedbush initiated coverage on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Thursday, January 31st. They issued a neutral rating and a $110.00 price objective for the company. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and twenty-one have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Darden Restaurants presently has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $125.96.

Darden Restaurants stock opened at $118.71 on Friday. Darden Restaurants has a 1-year low of $82.38 and a 1-year high of $124.00. The company has a market capitalization of $14.50 billion, a P/E ratio of 24.68, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.02 and a beta of 0.30. The company has a quick ratio of 0.33, a current ratio of 0.48 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.40.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, March 21st. The restaurant operator reported $1.80 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.75 by $0.05. Darden Restaurants had a net margin of 8.08% and a return on equity of 30.28%. The business had revenue of $2.25 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.24 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.71 EPS. Darden Restaurants’s revenue was up 5.5% compared to the same quarter last year. Sell-side analysts forecast that Darden Restaurants will post 5.79 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, May 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, April 10th will be issued a $0.75 dividend. This represents a $3.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.53%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, April 9th. Darden Restaurants’s payout ratio is 13.10%.

In other news, Director William S. Simon sold 1,565 shares of Darden Restaurants stock in a transaction on Friday, February 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $104.90, for a total transaction of $164,168.50. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 10,248 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,075,015.20. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. 0.65% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Private Capital Group LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 356.5% during the 4th quarter. Private Capital Group LLC now owns 315 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $31,000 after acquiring an additional 246 shares during the last quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund lifted its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 14,173.2% during the 4th quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 4,131,508 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $41,000 after acquiring an additional 4,102,562 shares during the last quarter. Highwater Wealth Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Darden Restaurants during the 4th quarter worth $67,000. Enlightenment Research LLC bought a new stake in shares of Darden Restaurants during the 4th quarter worth $170,000. Finally, Acima Private Wealth LLC bought a new stake in shares of Darden Restaurants during the 4th quarter worth $200,000. 90.85% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Darden Restaurants

Darden Restaurants, Inc, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates full-service restaurants in the United States and Canada. As of May 27, 2018, it owned and operated approximately 1,746 restaurants under the Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen, Yard House, The Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52, and Eddie V's brands.

Further Reading: Growth Stocks

Analyst Recommendations for Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI)

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