News articles about Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) have been trending somewhat positive on Friday, according to Accern Sentiment. The research firm identifies negative and positive news coverage by monitoring more than 20 million blog and news sources. Accern ranks coverage of public companies on a scale of negative one to one, with scores closest to one being the most favorable. Darden Restaurants earned a news sentiment score of 0.16 on Accern’s scale. Accern also assigned news stories about the restaurant operator an impact score of 46.815619589137 out of 100, meaning that recent news coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an impact on the stock’s share price in the near future.

Here are some of the media headlines that may have impacted Accern Sentiment’s rankings:

Several research firms have issued reports on DRI. BidaskClub lowered Darden Restaurants from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, July 31st. Jefferies Group LLC boosted their price target on Darden Restaurants from $80.00 to $90.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, June 28th. BMO Capital Markets boosted their price target on Darden Restaurants from $85.00 to $87.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a report on Friday, June 30th. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) reissued a “neutral” rating and set a $87.00 price target (up previously from $81.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Wednesday, June 28th. Finally, J P Morgan Chase & Co reissued a “neutral” rating and set a $93.00 price target (up previously from $82.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Wednesday, June 28th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have given a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $84.78.

Shares of Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) opened at 82.53 on Friday. Darden Restaurants has a 52-week low of $60.16 and a 52-week high of $95.22. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $87.54 and a 200-day moving average price of $83.10. The stock has a market capitalization of $10.35 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.70 and a beta of 0.27.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, June 27th. The restaurant operator reported $1.18 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.15 by $0.03. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 26.18% and a net margin of 6.68%. The company had revenue of $1.94 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.86 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.10 EPS. Darden Restaurants’s revenue was up 8.1% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts predict that Darden Restaurants will post $4.47 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, August 1st. Investors of record on Monday, July 10th were issued a $0.63 dividend. This represents a $2.52 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.05%. This is a boost from Darden Restaurants’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.56. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, July 6th. Darden Restaurants’s payout ratio is presently 66.14%.

In related news, insider Eugene I. Lee, Jr. sold 93,125 shares of Darden Restaurants stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $91.58, for a total value of $8,528,387.50. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 165,062 shares in the company, valued at approximately $15,116,377.96. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Insiders own 0.68% of the company’s stock.

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About Darden Restaurants

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).

Insider Buying and Selling by Quarter for Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI)

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