Darden Restaurants Inc. (DRI) Rating Increased to Buy at Zacks Investment Research
Darden Restaurants Inc. (NYSE:DRI) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Thursday. The firm presently has a $69.00 price target on the restaurant operator’s stock. Zacks Investment Research’s target price would indicate a potential upside of 12.09% from the company’s current price.
According to Zacks, “Darden posted mixed first-quarter fiscal 2017 results wherein though the bottom line beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate, the top line lagged the same. Notably, this quarter marked the eighth consecutive earnings beat for the company. The company also raised its guidance for fiscal 2017 earnings and witnessed a rise in sales across all its segments in the first quarter. Going forward, sales initiatives like simplifying kitchen systems, improving in-restaurant execution to enhance guest experience, menu innovation and technology-driven moves should boost the top line. Moreover, the company’s Olive Garden Brand Renaissance plan – aimed to turn around its business – has started reaping benefits. Also, Darden’s efforts to check costs are commendable. However, rising labor costs and a non-franchised business model might dampen the company’s profits, while a soft consumer spending environment could keep comps under pressure.”
A number of other equities analysts have also recently commented on the company. SunTrust Banks Inc. lowered their target price on Darden Restaurants from $70.00 to $67.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a report on Wednesday. Bank of America Corp. reiterated a “sell” rating on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Wednesday. Credit Suisse Group AG reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $69.00 price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Wednesday. Stifel Nicolaus decreased their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $53.00 to $50.00 and set a “sell” rating for the company in a research note on Monday. Finally, RBC Capital Markets reiterated a “sector perform” rating and issued a $70.00 price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Friday, September 30th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the company. Darden Restaurants has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $69.89.
Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) opened at 61.31 on Thursday. Darden Restaurants has a one year low of $53.38 and a one year high of $68.68. The company has a market capitalization of $7.74 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.16 and a beta of 0.41. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $61.96 and a 200-day moving average of $63.83.
Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 4th. The restaurant operator reported $0.88 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.82 by $0.06. The firm earned $1.71 billion during the quarter. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 24.97% and a net margin of 5.73%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $0.68 earnings per share. On average, analysts anticipate that Darden Restaurants will post $3.87 earnings per share for the current year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 1st. Shareholders of record on Monday, October 10th will be paid a dividend of $0.56 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, October 5th. This represents a $2.24 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.64%. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio is presently 72.03%.
Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Hefty Wealth Partners bought a new stake in shares of Darden Restaurants during the third quarter valued at $998,000. New England Research & Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 137.2% in the third quarter. New England Research & Management Inc. now owns 21,350 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $1,309,000 after buying an additional 12,350 shares during the last quarter. Chevy Chase Trust Holdings Inc. increased its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 7.7% in the third quarter. Chevy Chase Trust Holdings Inc. now owns 109,471 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $6,713,000 after buying an additional 7,810 shares during the last quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA increased its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 8.2% in the third quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 175,298 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $10,749,000 after buying an additional 13,279 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Macquarie Group Ltd. increased its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 4.9% in the second quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 3,357 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $213,000 after buying an additional 157 shares during the last quarter. 94.57% of the stock is 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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