Darden Restaurants, Inc. (DRI) Expected to Post Quarterly Sales of $2.15 Billion

Brokerages predict that Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) will post $2.15 billion in sales for the current quarter, Zacks reports. Nine analysts have issued estimates for Darden Restaurants’ earnings. The lowest sales estimate is $2.13 billion and the highest is $2.16 billion. Darden Restaurants reported sales of $1.88 billion in the same quarter last year, which indicates a positive year over year growth rate of 14.4%. The company is scheduled to report its next quarterly earnings report on Monday, March 26th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Darden Restaurants will report full-year sales of $2.15 billion for the current financial year, with estimates ranging from $8.01 billion to $8.13 billion. For the next financial year, analysts forecast that the firm will report sales of $8.47 billion per share, with estimates ranging from $8.31 billion to $8.58 billion. Zacks Investment Research’s sales averages are a mean average based on a survey of sell-side research analysts that that provide coverage for Darden Restaurants.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, December 19th. The restaurant operator reported $0.73 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.70 by $0.03. Darden Restaurants had a net margin of 6.46% and a return on equity of 26.24%.

Several research analysts have issued reports on DRI shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Darden Restaurants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $94.00 price target for the company in a report on Friday, September 22nd. Royal Bank of Canada restated a “sector perform” rating and set a $90.00 price target (down previously from $96.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Friday, September 22nd. Stephens restated an “equal weight” rating and set a $95.00 price target on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Tuesday, September 26th. Robert W. Baird raised shares of Darden Restaurants from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $94.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Wednesday, September 27th. Finally, Maxim Group raised shares of Darden Restaurants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price objective for the stock from $90.00 to $93.00 in a research report on Wednesday, September 27th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have issued a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $96.22.

Darden Restaurants (DRI) traded up $1.68 during trading on Friday, reaching $99.04. 1,306,189 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,199,052. 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 has a 52-week low of $71.43 and a 52-week high of $100.11. The company has a market cap of $12,027.25, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.39, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.89 and a beta of 0.20.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, February 1st. Investors of record on Wednesday, January 10th will be given a $0.63 dividend. This represents a $2.52 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.54%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, January 9th. Darden Restaurants’s payout ratio is currently 64.62%.

In related news, insider Eugene I. Lee, Jr. sold 59,783 shares of Darden Restaurants stock in a transaction on Wednesday, January 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $96.80, for a total value of $5,786,994.40. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 164,396 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $15,913,532.80. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, CFO Ricardo Cardenas sold 10,783 shares of Darden Restaurants stock in a transaction on Wednesday, January 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $97.17, for a total transaction of $1,047,784.11. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 20,046 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,947,869.82. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 74,866 shares of company stock valued at $7,252,094. 0.63% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of DRI. Franklin Resources Inc. grew its position in Darden Restaurants by 43.2% in the 2nd quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 11,361 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $1,028,000 after purchasing an additional 3,428 shares during the period. Alliancebernstein L.P. raised its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 3.2% during the 2nd quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 229,389 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $20,746,000 after purchasing an additional 7,159 shares during the period. Amalgamated Bank raised its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 65.0% during the 2nd quarter. Amalgamated Bank now owns 14,717 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $1,331,000 after purchasing an additional 5,798 shares during the period. Profund Advisors LLC raised its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 27.0% during the 2nd quarter. Profund Advisors LLC now owns 4,520 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $409,000 after purchasing an additional 962 shares during the period. Finally, Thrivent Financial For Lutherans raised its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 7.7% during the 2nd quarter. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans now owns 5,456 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $494,000 after purchasing an additional 389 shares during the period. 91.83% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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

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