Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) – Stock analysts at Oppenheimer Holdings dropped their Q2 2018 earnings per share (EPS) estimates for shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report issued to clients and investors on Wednesday. Oppenheimer Holdings analyst B. Bittner now expects that the restaurant operator will post earnings of $0.72 per share for the quarter, down from their previous forecast of $0.75. Oppenheimer Holdings has a “Buy” rating and a $100.00 price objective on the stock. Oppenheimer Holdings also issued estimates for Darden Restaurants’ Q3 2018 earnings at $1.50 EPS.

A number of other brokerages also recently issued reports on DRI. 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 research report on Wednesday, June 28th. Canaccord Genuity restated a “buy” rating and set a $102.00 target price on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Friday, June 9th. BMO Capital Markets upped their target price on Darden Restaurants from $85.00 to $87.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research note on Friday, June 30th. Morgan Stanley restated an “equal weight” rating and set a $86.00 target price (up from $83.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Thursday, June 22nd. Finally, Robert W. Baird restated a “hold” rating and set a $94.00 target price on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Tuesday. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have issued a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $85.18.

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Shares of Darden Restaurants (NYSE DRI) traded up 0.24% during trading on Thursday, reaching $83.26. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 214,905 shares. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $82.69 and its 200 day moving average is $84.83. Darden Restaurants has a 52-week low of $60.16 and a 52-week high of $95.22. The company has a market cap of $10.44 billion, a PE ratio of 21.89 and a beta of 0.27.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, June 27th. The restaurant operator reported $1.18 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating 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 firm had revenue of $1.94 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.86 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.10 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.1% compared to the same quarter last year.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. USA Financial Portformulas Corp acquired a new stake in Darden Restaurants during the 2nd quarter worth about $3,811,000. Toronto Dominion Bank grew its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 26.0% during the 2nd quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank now owns 42,119 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $3,808,000 after acquiring an additional 8,694 shares during the period. Archford Capital Strategies LLC grew its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 9,550.4% during the 2nd quarter. Archford Capital Strategies LLC now owns 12,449 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $731,000 after acquiring an additional 12,320 shares during the period. Cetera Investment Advisers acquired a new stake in Darden Restaurants during the 2nd quarter worth about $349,000. Finally, Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio grew its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 3.2% during the 2nd quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 54,341 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $4,915,000 after acquiring an additional 1,706 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 88.65% of the company’s stock.

In related news, insider Eugene I. Lee, Jr. sold 93,125 shares of the stock in a transaction on 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 completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 165,062 shares in the company, valued at $15,116,377.96. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 0.63% of the company’s stock.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 1st. Investors of record on Tuesday, October 10th will be issued a $0.63 dividend. This represents a $2.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.03%. Darden Restaurants’s payout ratio is 66.14%.

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).

Earnings History and Estimates for Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI)

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