Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) had its price target hoisted by Argus to $240.00 in a research note issued to investors on Thursday, The Fly reports. The firm currently has a buy rating on the restaurant operator’s stock.

A number of other research firms have also issued reports on DRI. Robert W. Baird lowered shares of Darden Restaurants from an outperform rating to a neutral rating in a report on Monday, September 10th. Goldman Sachs Group upgraded shares of Darden Restaurants from a neutral rating to a buy rating and increased their target price for the stock from $106.00 to $130.00 in a report on Tuesday, September 11th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Oppenheimer increased their target price on shares of Darden Restaurants from $115.00 to $130.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a report on Wednesday, September 5th. Stifel Nicolaus increased their target price on shares of Darden Restaurants from $115.00 to $125.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, September 5th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Darden Restaurants from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, August 21st. Ten equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and sixteen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $118.09.

Darden Restaurants stock opened at $119.05 on Thursday. The company has a market cap of $14.67 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.64, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.31 and a beta of 0.15. Darden Restaurants has a 52-week low of $77.55 and a 52-week high of $120.93. The company has a current ratio of 0.40, a quick ratio of 0.25 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.42.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last released its earnings results on Thursday, June 21st. The restaurant operator reported $1.39 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.35 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $2.13 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.13 billion. Darden Restaurants had a net margin of 7.38% and a return on equity of 29.02%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 10.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.99 EPS. equities analysts expect that Darden Restaurants will post 5.51 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, SVP Douglas J. Milanes sold 2,186 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, July 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $111.06, for a total value of $242,777.16. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 792 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $87,959.52. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, SVP John W. Madonna sold 700 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, June 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $109.21, for a total transaction of $76,447.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 706 shares in the company, valued at $77,102.26. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 182,236 shares of company stock worth $19,609,826. Insiders own 0.65% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of DRI. Millennium Management LLC grew its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 290.8% in the 2nd quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 1,287,465 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $137,836,000 after buying an additional 958,040 shares during the last quarter. Morgan Stanley grew its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 100.8% in the 2nd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 1,520,183 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $162,751,000 after buying an additional 763,239 shares during the last quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC grew its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 608.9% in the 2nd quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC now owns 699,834 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $74,923,000 after buying an additional 601,115 shares during the last quarter. Lord Abbett & CO. LLC purchased a new position in shares of Darden Restaurants in the 1st quarter valued at $43,827,000. Finally, Renaissance Technologies LLC grew its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 845.5% in the 2nd quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 539,900 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $57,802,000 after buying an additional 482,800 shares during the last quarter. 89.48% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Darden Restaurants Company Profile

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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Analyst Recommendations for Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI)

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