Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) had its target price increased by analysts at Royal Bank Of Canada from $86.00 to $96.00 in a note issued to investors on Wednesday, MarketBeat.com reports. The brokerage presently has a “sector perform” rating on the restaurant operator’s stock. Royal Bank Of Canada’s price target would suggest a potential upside of 6.15% from the company’s previous close.

A number of other research firms have also recently commented on DRI. Canaccord Genuity restated a “buy” rating and issued a $102.00 price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Friday, June 9th. Robert W. Baird restated a “neutral” rating and issued a $90.00 price objective (up from $85.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Monday, June 19th. Bank of America Corporation set a $80.00 price objective on Darden Restaurants and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, June 26th. Morgan Stanley restated an “equal weight” rating and issued a $86.00 price objective (up from $83.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Thursday, June 22nd. Finally, Zacks Investment Research cut Darden Restaurants from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, June 23rd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have issued a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $84.43.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) traded down 1.44% on Wednesday, reaching $90.44. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,693,843 shares. Darden Restaurants has a 12-month low of $59.50 and a 12-month high of $95.22. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $89.37 and a 200 day moving average of $80.52. The company has a market capitalization of $11.30 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.78 and a beta of 0.25.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, June 27th. The restaurant operator reported $1.18 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.15 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $1.94 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.86 billion. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 26.18% and a net margin of 6.68%. The business’s revenue was up 8.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.10 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Darden Restaurants will post $4.47 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, August 1st. Shareholders of record on Monday, July 10th will be given a $0.63 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, July 6th. This represents a $2.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.79%. This is an increase from Darden Restaurants’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.56. Darden Restaurants’s payout ratio is currently 58.79%.

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In other Darden Restaurants news, insider David C. George sold 84,283 shares of Darden Restaurants stock in a transaction on Monday, April 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $83.13, for a total value of $7,006,445.79. Following the sale, the insider now owns 78,010 shares in the company, valued at $6,484,971.30. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Eugene I. Lee, Jr. sold 93,125 shares of Darden Restaurants stock in a transaction on Thursday, June 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $91.58, for a total value of $8,528,387.50. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 165,062 shares in the company, valued at approximately $15,116,377.96. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.68% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Wedbush Securities Inc. increased its stake in Darden Restaurants by 0.4% in the first quarter. Wedbush Securities Inc. now owns 3,180 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $266,000 after buying an additional 13 shares in the last quarter. Wetherby Asset Management Inc. increased its stake 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 worth $401,000 after buying an additional 26 shares in the last quarter. HighPoint Advisor Group LLC increased its stake 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 worth $522,000 after buying an additional 27 shares in the last quarter. ARP Americas LLC increased its stake in Darden Restaurants by 1.1% in the first quarter. ARP Americas LLC now owns 5,473 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $458,000 after buying an additional 60 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Cleararc Capital Inc. increased its stake in Darden Restaurants by 2.3% in the first quarter. Cleararc Capital Inc. now owns 3,047 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $255,000 after buying an additional 68 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 96.84% of the company’s stock.

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).

Analyst Recommendations for Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI)

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