Barclays reissued their overweight rating on shares of Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) in a research note released on Tuesday, MarketBeat.com reports. Barclays currently has a $116.00 price objective on the restaurant operator’s stock, up from their previous price objective of $108.00.

Several other equities analysts have also recently issued reports on the company. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Darden Restaurants from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Monday, October 30th. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a sector perform rating and issued a $90.00 price target (down previously from $96.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Friday, September 22nd. Longbow Research started coverage on Darden Restaurants in a report on Friday, October 13th. They issued a neutral rating on the stock. BMO Capital Markets set a $101.00 price target on Darden Restaurants and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, December 19th. Finally, Argus upgraded Darden Restaurants from a hold rating to a buy rating and raised their price target for the company from $95.67 to $108.00 in a report on Thursday, December 21st. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have given a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $96.22.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) traded up $1.68 during trading on Tuesday, reaching $99.04. The company had a trading volume of 1,306,189 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,199,052. The company has a market capitalization of $12,027.25, a PE ratio of 25.39, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.89 and a beta of 0.20. Darden Restaurants has a fifty-two week low of $71.43 and a fifty-two week high of $100.11. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.47, a quick ratio of 0.20 and a current ratio of 0.34.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, December 19th. The restaurant operator reported $0.73 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.70 by $0.03. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 26.24% and a net margin of 6.46%. research analysts predict that Darden Restaurants will post 4.76 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, February 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, January 10th will be paid a $0.63 dividend. This represents a $2.52 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.54%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, January 9th. Darden Restaurants’s payout ratio is 64.62%.

In other news, CFO Ricardo Cardenas sold 10,783 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, January 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $97.17, for a total transaction of $1,047,784.11. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 20,046 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,947,869.82. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider Eugene I. Lee, Jr. sold 59,783 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, January 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $96.80, for a total value of $5,786,994.40. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 164,396 shares in the company, valued at approximately $15,913,532.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 74,866 shares of company stock worth $7,252,094 in the last three months. Insiders own 0.63% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in DRI. Franklin Resources Inc. raised its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 43.2% during the second quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 11,361 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $1,028,000 after purchasing an additional 3,428 shares during the period. Alliancebernstein L.P. raised its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 3.2% during the second quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 229,389 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $20,746,000 after purchasing an additional 7,159 shares during the period. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC raised its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 47.3% during the second quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 527,852 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $47,739,000 after purchasing an additional 169,570 shares during the period. Amalgamated Bank raised its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 65.0% during the second quarter. Amalgamated Bank now owns 14,717 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $1,331,000 after purchasing an additional 5,798 shares during the period. Finally, Stevens Capital Management LP raised its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 137.2% during the second quarter. Stevens Capital Management LP now owns 49,742 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $4,499,000 after purchasing an additional 28,769 shares during the period. 91.83% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

ILLEGAL ACTIVITY WARNING: This news story was originally reported by Daily Political and is the sole property of of Daily Political. If you are accessing this news story on another site, it was stolen and reposted in violation of United States & international copyright & trademark law. The legal version of this news story can be viewed at https://www.dailypolitical.com/2018/01/20/darden-restaurants-dri-earns-overweight-rating-from-barclays.html.

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).

Analyst Recommendations for Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI)

Receive News & Ratings for Darden Restaurants Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Darden Restaurants and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.