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Shares of Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) have received a consensus rating of “Hold” from the twenty-one brokerages that are covering the stock, AmericanBankingNews.com reports. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company. The average twelve-month price target among brokers that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $76.71.

Shares of Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) traded down 0.21% on Wednesday, hitting $47.51. The stock had a trading volume of 73,802 shares. Darden Restaurants has a 1-year low of $43.56 and a 1-year high of $54.89. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $46.0 and a 200-day moving average of $48.55. The company has a market cap of $6.286 billion and a P/E ratio of 22.11. Darden Restaurants also was the target of a significant growth in short interest during the month of August. As of August 15th, there was short interest totalling 15,232,792 shares, a growth of 27.8% from the July 31st total of 11,916,846 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 1,862,569 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 8.2 days. Currently, 11.6% of the shares of the stock are sold short.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, June 20th. The company reported $0.65 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the analysts’ consensus estimate of $0.94 by $0.29. The company had revenue of $2.32 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.33 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.01 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up .9% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts expect that Darden Restaurants will post $2.23 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

DRI has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. Analysts at Goldman Sachs initiated coverage on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Monday, August 11th. They set a $500.00 price target on the stock. Separately, analysts at Deutsche Bank cut their price target on shares of Darden Restaurants from $49.00 to $44.00 in a research note on Tuesday, July 29th. They now have a “hold” rating on the stock. Finally, analysts at Raymond James cut their price target on shares of Darden Restaurants from $55.00 to $50.00 in a research note on Monday, July 14th.

Darden Restaurants, Inc is full service restaurant company. The Company owns and operates more than 1,500 restaurants.

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