Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) Price Target Lowered to $117.00 at Wells Fargo & Co

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Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) had its price objective lowered by research analysts at Wells Fargo & Co from $120.00 to $117.00 in a report issued on Tuesday, BenzingaRatingsTable reports. The firm currently has a “market perform” rating on the restaurant operator’s stock. Wells Fargo & Co‘s price objective would indicate a potential downside of 0.69% from the company’s current price.

A number of other research firms also recently commented on DRI. Wedbush increased their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $120.00 to $130.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday, May 23rd. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Darden Restaurants from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, May 13th. UBS Group began coverage on Darden Restaurants in a report on Friday, April 26th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $133.00 price objective on the stock. Citigroup increased their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $120.00 to $146.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, April 3rd. Finally, Morgan Stanley increased their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $112.00 to $121.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a report on Friday, March 22nd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and nineteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $129.96.

NYSE:DRI opened at $117.81 on Tuesday. Darden Restaurants has a 52 week low of $91.34 and a 52 week high of $125.33. The company has a market capitalization of $14.92 billion, a P/E ratio of 24.49, a PEG ratio of 1.84 and a beta of 0.30. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.40, a quick ratio of 0.33 and a current ratio of 0.48.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, March 21st. The restaurant operator reported $1.80 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.75 by $0.05. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 30.28% and a net margin of 8.08%. The firm had revenue of $2.25 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.24 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.71 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 5.5% on a year-over-year basis. On average, sell-side analysts anticipate that Darden Restaurants will post 5.78 EPS for the current year.

In other Darden Restaurants news, insider Eugene I. Lee, Jr. sold 73,152 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $118.61, for a total transaction of $8,676,558.72. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 190,025 shares in the company, valued at $22,538,865.25. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, SVP John W. Madonna sold 330 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $118.76, for a total value of $39,190.80. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 1,680 shares in the company, valued at approximately $199,516.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.65% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans boosted its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 1.8% in the fourth quarter. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans now owns 5,410 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $540,000 after acquiring an additional 95 shares during the period. LPL Financial LLC boosted its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 0.8% in the fourth quarter. LPL Financial LLC now owns 12,467 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $1,245,000 after acquiring an additional 98 shares during the period. Wealthfront Advisers LLC boosted its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 2.9% in the first quarter. Wealthfront Advisers LLC now owns 3,941 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $479,000 after acquiring an additional 112 shares during the period. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC boosted its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 20.8% in the first quarter. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC now owns 655 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $79,000 after acquiring an additional 113 shares during the period. Finally, Leisure Capital Management boosted its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 1.8% in the first quarter. Leisure Capital Management now owns 6,534 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $794,000 after acquiring an additional 117 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 88.86% of the company’s stock.

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.

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