Analysts forecast that Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) will report $1.86 billion in sales for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks reports. Nine analysts have issued estimates for Darden Restaurants’ earnings, with estimates ranging from $1.83 billion to $1.92 billion. Darden Restaurants reported sales of $1.79 billion in the same quarter last year, which indicates a positive year-over-year growth rate of 3.9%. The company is scheduled to announce its next earnings report on Thursday, June 29th.

On average, analysts expect that Darden Restaurants will report full year sales of $1.86 billion for the current fiscal year, with estimates ranging from $7.07 billion to $7.15 billion. For the next fiscal year, analysts anticipate that the firm will report sales of $7.45 billion per share, with estimates ranging from $7.26 billion to $7.97 billion. Zacks’ sales averages are an average based on a survey of analysts that that provide coverage for Darden Restaurants.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Monday, March 27th. The restaurant operator reported $1.32 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ 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 business had revenue of $1.88 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.87 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.21 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.7% compared to the same quarter last year.

A number of analysts have recently issued reports on DRI shares. Credit Suisse Group AG reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $74.00 target price on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Wednesday, March 29th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Darden Restaurants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $86.00 target price for the company in a report on Tuesday, February 21st. Maxim Group boosted their target price on Darden Restaurants from $80.00 to $87.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, March 30th. Canaccord Genuity reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $84.00 target price on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Thursday, March 2nd. Finally, Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. reiterated an “outperform” rating and set a $85.00 target price on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Tuesday, March 21st. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have given a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company. Darden Restaurants currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $78.00.

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

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in DRI. Wedbush Securities Inc. boosted its position in Darden Restaurants by 0.4% in the first quarter. Wedbush Securities Inc. now owns 3,180 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $266,000 after buying an additional 13 shares during the period. Wetherby Asset Management Inc. boosted its position in Darden Restaurants by 0.5% in the first quarter. Wetherby Asset Management Inc. now owns 4,798 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $401,000 after buying an additional 26 shares during the period. HighPoint Advisor Group LLC boosted its position in Darden Restaurants by 0.4% in the fourth quarter. HighPoint Advisor Group LLC now owns 6,970 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $522,000 after buying an additional 27 shares during the period. Choate Investment Advisors boosted its position in Darden Restaurants by 0.3% in the third quarter. Choate Investment Advisors now owns 13,381 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $821,000 after buying an additional 45 shares during the period. Finally, ARP Americas LLC boosted its position in Darden Restaurants by 1.1% in the first quarter. ARP Americas LLC now owns 5,473 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $458,000 after buying an additional 60 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 87.64% of the company’s stock.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) opened at 87.95 on Friday. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $85.68 and a 200 day moving average of $77.63. Darden Restaurants has a 1-year low of $59.50 and a 1-year high of $89.14. The stock has a market cap of $10.94 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.46 and a beta of 0.28.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, May 1st. Stockholders of record on Monday, April 10th were paid a dividend of $0.56 per share. This represents a $2.24 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.55%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, April 6th. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 65.50%.

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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