Darden Restaurants Inc. (DRI) Upgraded by Raymond James Financial Inc. to Market Perform
Darden Restaurants Inc. (NYSE:DRI) was upgraded by equities researchers at Raymond James Financial Inc. from an “underperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday.
Several other equities analysts have also recently issued reports on the company. RBC Capital Markets reissued a “sector perform” rating and set a $70.00 target price on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Wednesday, October 12th. Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. restated an “outperform” rating and set a $70.00 price target on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Friday, October 7th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Darden Restaurants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $69.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Thursday, October 6th. SunTrust Banks Inc. dropped their price target on Darden Restaurants from $70.00 to $67.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, October 5th. Finally, Bank of America Corp. restated a “sell” rating on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Wednesday, October 5th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have given a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $69.89.
Shares of Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) traded up 0.93% during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $63.15. The stock had a trading volume of 326,486 shares. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $61.94 and its 200-day moving average is $63.57. The stock has a market cap of $7.77 billion, a PE ratio of 20.39 and a beta of 0.41. Darden Restaurants has a 12 month low of $53.38 and a 12 month high of $68.68.
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Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, October 4th. The restaurant operator reported $0.88 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.82 by $0.06. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 24.97% and a net margin of 5.73%. The firm had revenue of $1.71 billion for the quarter. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.68 earnings per share. Darden Restaurants’s quarterly revenue was up 1.6% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts anticipate that Darden Restaurants will post $3.92 EPS for the current year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 1st. Investors of record on Monday, October 10th will be given a dividend of $0.56 per share. This represents a $2.24 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.58%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, October 5th. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio is currently 72.03%.
In related news, SVP Danielle L. Kirgan sold 28,127 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.47, for a total transaction of $1,757,093.69. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 15,989 shares in the company, valued at $998,832.83. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, SVP Danielle L. Kirgan sold 8,780 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.47, for a total value of $548,486.60. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 15,989 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $998,832.83. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.69% of the company’s stock.
Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Schroder Investment Management Group boosted its stake in Darden Restaurants by 291.5% in the second quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 1,725,904 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $109,319,000 after buying an additional 1,285,004 shares in the last quarter. WBI Investments Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Darden Restaurants during the second quarter worth approximately $57,165,000. Numeric Investors LLC raised its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 228.9% in the second quarter. Numeric Investors LLC now owns 1,272,100 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $80,575,000 after buying an additional 885,300 shares during the last quarter. Bank of Montreal Can purchased a new position in shares of Darden Restaurants during the second quarter worth approximately $53,974,000. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 5.3% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 12,676,075 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $802,903,000 after buying an additional 640,845 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 94.45% of the company’s stock.
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).
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