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Equities researchers at UBS AG initiated coverage on shares of Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) in a research report issued on Wednesday, TheFlyOnTheWall.com reports. The firm set a “neutral” rating on the stock.

A number of other analysts have also recently weighed in on DRI. Analysts at Credit Suisse initiated coverage on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note to investors on Tuesday. They set an “underperform” rating on the stock. Separately, analysts at Oppenheimer downgraded shares of Darden Restaurants from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research note to investors on Monday. Finally, analysts at Jefferson Research downgraded shares of Darden Restaurants from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note to investors on Friday, January 3rd. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eighteen have issued a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $51.22.

Shares of Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) traded down 1.84% on Wednesday, hitting $51.61. The stock had a trading volume of 1,867,490 shares. Darden Restaurants has a 52-week low of $44.11 and a 52-week high of $55.25. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $52.83 and its 200-day moving average is $50.22. The company has a market cap of $6.740 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.40. Darden Restaurants also saw unusually large options trading activity on Tuesday. Investors bought 45,645 call options on the stock. This is an increase of approximately 1,332% compared to the typical volume of 3,187 call options.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last released its earnings data on Thursday, December 19th. The company reported $0.15 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of $0.21 by $0.06. The company had revenue of $2.05 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.07 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.26 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 4.6% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts predict that Darden Restaurants will post $2.58 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which is scheduled for Monday, February 3rd. Stockholders of record on Friday, January 10th will be paid a dividend of 0.55 per share. This represents a $2.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.26%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, January 8th.

In other Darden Restaurants news, Insider Salli Setta sold 20,900 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, January 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.43, for a total value of $1,116,687.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 32,949 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,760,465. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link.

Darden Restaurants, Inc (NYSE:DRI) is a company owned and full-service restaurant company.

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