Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) Rating Reiterated by Wedbush

Wedbush reaffirmed their outperform rating on shares of Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRIFree Report) in a research note published on Thursday, Benzinga reports. Wedbush currently has a $170.00 target price on the restaurant operator’s stock.

DRI has been the topic of several other research reports. Guggenheim raised their price target on shares of Darden Restaurants from $180.00 to $185.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Tuesday, March 19th. Raymond James reaffirmed an outperform rating and set a $167.00 target price (down previously from $175.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Friday, June 14th. Evercore ISI reduced their price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants from $170.00 to $165.00 and set an in-line rating for the company in a report on Thursday, June 13th. Stephens decreased their target price on shares of Darden Restaurants from $170.00 to $165.00 and set an equal weight rating for the company in a research report on Friday, June 14th. Finally, Oppenheimer dropped their price target on shares of Darden Restaurants from $186.00 to $182.00 and set an outperform rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, March 22nd. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and sixteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Based on data from MarketBeat, the stock presently has an average rating of Moderate Buy and an average target price of $173.76.

Get Our Latest Stock Analysis on DRI

Darden Restaurants Stock Down 0.7 %

Shares of NYSE:DRI opened at $153.28 on Thursday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61, a quick ratio of 0.25 and a current ratio of 0.38. Darden Restaurants has a 1-year low of $133.36 and a 1-year high of $176.84. The company’s fifty day moving average is $150.69 and its two-hundred day moving average is $159.63. The stock has a market capitalization of $18.30 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.99, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.63 and a beta of 1.29.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRIGet Free Report) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, June 20th. The restaurant operator reported $2.65 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.61 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $3 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.97 billion. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 49.82% and a net margin of 9.02%. Darden Restaurants’s quarterly revenue was up 8.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $2.58 earnings per share. Equities analysts anticipate that Darden Restaurants will post 9.5 EPS for the current year.

Darden Restaurants Cuts Dividend

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, August 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, July 10th will be paid a $1.29 dividend. This represents a $5.16 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.37%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, July 10th. Darden Restaurants’s payout ratio is 65.73%.

Darden Restaurants announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock repurchase program on Thursday, March 21st that authorizes the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the restaurant operator to buy up to 5% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are usually an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

Insiders Place Their Bets

In related news, Director William S. Simon sold 1,219 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, April 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $158.21, for a total value of $192,857.99. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 6,281 shares in the company, valued at $993,717.01. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. In other news, Director William S. Simon sold 1,219 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, April 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $158.21, for a total value of $192,857.99. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 6,281 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $993,717.01. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, insider Melvin John Martin sold 7,673 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, March 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $165.52, for a total transaction of $1,270,034.96. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 17,208 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,848,268.16. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 13,599 shares of company stock worth $2,197,891 in the last ninety days. Insiders own 0.85% of the company’s stock.

Institutional Investors Weigh In On Darden Restaurants

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in DRI. Rise Advisors LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 131.3% in the first quarter. Rise Advisors LLC now owns 155 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $26,000 after buying an additional 88 shares during the period. ESL Trust Services LLC acquired a new stake in Darden Restaurants in the 1st quarter valued at $27,000. Fortitude Family Office LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Darden Restaurants in the fourth quarter valued at about $29,000. Hartford Financial Management Inc. boosted its position in Darden Restaurants by 65.1% during the fourth quarter. Hartford Financial Management Inc. now owns 180 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $30,000 after purchasing an additional 71 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Tennessee Valley Asset Management Partners bought a new position in shares of Darden Restaurants in the fourth quarter valued at $33,000. Institutional investors own 93.64% of the company’s stock.

Darden Restaurants Company Profile

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Darden Restaurants, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, owns and operates full-service restaurants in the United States and Canada. It operates under Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen, Yard House, The Capital Grille, Seasons 52, Bahama Breeze, Eddie V's Prime Seafood, and Capital Burger brand names.

See Also

Analyst Recommendations for Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI)

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