Shares of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) have been given a consensus rating of “Hold” by the twenty-seven research firms that are presently covering the stock, MarketBeat reports. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, nineteen have assigned a hold recommendation and six have assigned a buy recommendation to the company. The average 12 month target price among brokerages that have covered the stock in the last year is $85.11.

Several analysts have recently issued reports on DRI shares. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and set a $93.00 price objective (up from $82.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Wednesday, June 28th. Canaccord Genuity reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $102.00 price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Friday, June 9th. BMO Capital Markets upped their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $85.00 to $87.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a report on Friday, June 30th. Morgan Stanley reaffirmed an “equal weight” rating and set a $86.00 price objective (up from $83.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Thursday, June 22nd. Finally, Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and set a $100.00 price objective (up from $85.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Wednesday, June 28th.

In other news, insider Eugene I. Lee, Jr. sold 93,125 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, June 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $91.58, for a total transaction of $8,528,387.50. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 165,062 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $15,116,377.96. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. 0.63% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of DRI. M&R Capital Management Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Darden Restaurants during the 2nd quarter worth $108,000. D.A. Davidson & CO. lifted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 1.7% during the 2nd quarter. D.A. Davidson & CO. now owns 1,271 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $114,000 after purchasing an additional 21 shares during the last quarter. Farmers & Merchants Investments Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 255.5% during the 2nd quarter. Farmers & Merchants Investments Inc. now owns 1,422 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $129,000 after purchasing an additional 1,022 shares during the last quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp lifted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 4.6% during the 1st quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp now owns 1,625 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $136,000 after purchasing an additional 71 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Huntington National Bank lifted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 4.6% during the 2nd quarter. Huntington National Bank now owns 1,578 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $143,000 after purchasing an additional 70 shares during the last quarter. 88.76% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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Shares of Darden Restaurants (NYSE DRI) traded down 1.29% on Tuesday, reaching $80.86. 943,683 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. Darden Restaurants has a one year low of $60.16 and a one year high of $95.22. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $84.64 and a 200 day moving average price of $84.25. The firm has a market cap of $10.14 billion, a PE ratio of 21.26 and a beta of 0.27.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, June 27th. The restaurant operator reported $1.18 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.15 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $1.94 billion for 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 company’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.10 EPS. Analysts expect that Darden Restaurants will post $4.47 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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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