Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) – Investment analysts at Oppenheimer boosted their Q4 2018 earnings estimates for shares of Darden Restaurants in a report released on Thursday. Oppenheimer analyst B. Bittner now expects that the restaurant operator will post earnings of $1.48 per share for the quarter, up from their previous forecast of $1.28. Oppenheimer has a “Outperform” rating and a $100.00 price objective on the stock.

Other research analysts also recently issued research reports about the stock. Canaccord Genuity reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $97.00 price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Wednesday, September 27th. Maxim Group raised shares of Darden Restaurants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their price objective for the company from $90.00 to $93.00 in a research report on Wednesday, September 27th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Darden Restaurants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $94.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Friday, September 22nd. Citigroup decreased their price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants from $105.00 to $90.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research report on Monday, October 2nd. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus started coverage on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Monday, October 2nd. They issued a “buy” rating and a $92.00 price objective for the company. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have given a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $93.05.

Shares of Darden Restaurants (NYSE DRI) traded down $0.02 on Friday, hitting $98.52. 2,156,300 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,934,667. Darden Restaurants has a 52 week low of $71.01 and a 52 week high of $100.11. The company has a market cap of $12,190.00, a P/E ratio of 24.82, a PEG ratio of 2.11 and a beta of 0.20. The company has a current ratio of 0.34, a quick ratio of 0.20 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.47.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, September 26th. The restaurant operator reported $0.99 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $0.99. Darden Restaurants had a net margin of 6.46% and a return on equity of 26.24%. The firm had revenue of $1.94 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.93 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.88 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 12.9% compared to the same quarter last year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, February 1st. Investors of record on Wednesday, January 10th will be paid a $0.63 dividend. This represents a $2.52 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.56%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, January 9th. Darden Restaurants’s payout ratio is 63.48%.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. State of Tennessee Treasury Department boosted its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 162.3% during the 2nd quarter. State of Tennessee Treasury Department now owns 121,896 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $11,025,000 after buying an additional 75,421 shares in the last quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank raised its position in Darden Restaurants by 26.0% in the 2nd quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank now owns 42,119 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $3,808,000 after buying an additional 8,694 shares during the last quarter. Eastern Bank purchased a new stake in shares of Darden Restaurants during the 3rd quarter valued at about $2,327,000. Tredje AP fonden increased its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 11.0% during the 3rd quarter. Tredje AP fonden now owns 61,850 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $4,873,000 after purchasing an additional 6,110 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. increased its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 4.3% during the 3rd quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 1,061,980 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $83,663,000 after purchasing an additional 43,734 shares during the last quarter. 91.45% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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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).

Earnings History and Estimates for Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI)

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