Wall Street analysts forecast that Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) will announce sales of $1.86 billion for the current quarter, Zacks reports. Eight analysts have provided estimates for Darden Restaurants’ earnings, with the highest sales estimate coming in at $1.91 billion and the lowest estimate coming in at $1.83 billion. Darden Restaurants posted sales of $1.79 billion in the same quarter last year, which suggests a positive year-over-year growth rate of 3.9%. The company is expected to report its next quarterly earnings results on Thursday, June 29th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Darden Restaurants will report full-year sales of $1.86 billion for the current financial year, with estimates ranging from $7.07 billion to $7.15 billion. For the next year, analysts forecast that the firm will post sales of $7.31 billion per share, with estimates ranging from $7.26 billion to $7.38 billion. Zacks Investment Research’s sales calculations are a mean average based on a survey of sell-side analysts that cover Darden Restaurants.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last released its quarterly earnings data on Monday, March 27th. The restaurant operator reported $1.32 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.27 by $0.05. Darden Restaurants had a net margin of 6.22% and a return on equity of 25.92%. The firm earned $1.88 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.87 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $1.21 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 1.7% on a year-over-year basis.

DRI has been the subject of a number of recent analyst reports. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Thursday, March 23rd. KeyCorp reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $80.00 target price on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Monday, February 6th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Darden Restaurants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $86.00 price target for the company in a research report on Tuesday, February 21st. Credit Suisse Group AG reissued a “hold” rating and set a $74.00 price target on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Wednesday, March 29th. Finally, Maxim Group reissued a “hold” rating and set a $80.00 price target on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Thursday, March 23rd. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have given a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $78.00.

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Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) remained flat at $87.33 on Friday. 1,244,211 shares of the company traded hands. The stock has a market capitalization of $10.86 billion, a P/E ratio of 22.31 and a beta of 0.28. Darden Restaurants has a 52 week low of $59.50 and a 52 week high of $87.63. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $82.32 and a 200-day moving average price of $74.93.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, May 1st. Shareholders of record on Monday, April 10th were paid a dividend of $0.56 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, April 6th. This represents a $2.24 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.56%. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 65.50%.

In other news, insider Eugene I. Lee, Jr. sold 98,124 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $83.19, for a total transaction of $8,162,935.56. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 177,737 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $14,785,941.03. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider David C. George sold 84,283 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, April 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $83.13, for a total transaction of $7,006,445.79. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 78,010 shares in the company, valued at approximately $6,484,971.30. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.69% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. State Street Corp boosted its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 7.7% in the fourth quarter. State Street Corp now owns 5,647,691 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $410,705,000 after buying an additional 401,486 shares during the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN raised its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 38.3% in the first quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 3,229,308 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $270,196,000 after buying an additional 894,403 shares during the period. FMR LLC raised its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 154.6% in the fourth quarter. FMR LLC now owns 3,186,814 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $231,745,000 after buying an additional 1,935,246 shares during the period. Northern Trust Corp raised its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 5.5% in the third quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 2,251,493 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $138,062,000 after buying an additional 116,991 shares during the period. Finally, American Century Companies Inc. raised its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 42.3% in the first quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 2,076,378 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $173,731,000 after buying an additional 617,269 shares during the period. 87.64% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Darden Restaurants Company Profile

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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