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

Equities research analysts forecast that Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) will report $2.15 billion in sales for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks Investment Research reports. Nine analysts have provided estimates for Darden Restaurants’ earnings, with estimates ranging from $2.13 billion to $2.16 billion. Darden Restaurants reported sales of $1.88 billion during the same quarter last year, which would suggest a positive year-over-year growth rate of 14.4%. The business is expected to announce its next earnings results on Monday, March 26th.

On average, analysts expect that Darden Restaurants will report full-year sales of $2.15 billion for the current fiscal year, with estimates ranging from $7.17 billion to $8.13 billion. For the next year, analysts anticipate that the business will report sales of $8.44 billion per share, with estimates ranging from $8.10 billion to $8.59 billion. Zacks’ sales calculations are a mean average based on a survey of sell-side research firms that cover Darden Restaurants.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, December 19th. The restaurant operator reported $0.73 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.70 by $0.03. Darden Restaurants had a net margin of 6.46% and a return on equity of 26.24%. The firm had revenue of $1.88 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.85 billion.

Several research analysts recently weighed in on DRI shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Darden Restaurants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $111.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Monday, January 8th. Wells Fargo & Co restated a “market perform” rating and issued a $99.00 price objective (up from $92.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Tuesday, January 9th. Maxim Group restated a “buy” rating and issued a $112.00 price objective (up from $103.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Tuesday, January 9th. Credit Suisse Group restated a “hold” rating and issued a $95.00 price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Friday, January 12th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets set a $99.00 price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, January 12th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have assigned a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $96.22.

In other news, CFO Ricardo Cardenas sold 10,783 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, January 10th. The stock was 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 owns 20,046 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,947,869.82. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, SVP Douglas J. Milanes sold 4,300 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, January 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $97.05, for a total value of $417,315.00. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 7,513 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $729,136.65. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 74,866 shares of company stock worth $7,252,094 over the last quarter. Company insiders own 0.63% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in DRI. HS Management Partners LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Darden Restaurants during the third quarter valued at approximately $157,044,000. Victory Capital Management Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 1,963.6% during the fourth quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 2,067,552 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $198,526,000 after purchasing an additional 1,967,362 shares during the period. Janus Henderson Group PLC boosted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 113.6% during the third quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 1,576,026 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $124,158,000 after purchasing an additional 838,341 shares during the period. APG Asset Management N.V. boosted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 34.4% during the third quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 2,361,712 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $186,056,000 after purchasing an additional 604,364 shares during the period. Finally, American Century Companies Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 29.2% during the fourth quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 1,689,176 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $162,195,000 after purchasing an additional 381,677 shares during the period. 90.49% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of Darden Restaurants (DRI) opened at $94.22 on Tuesday. Darden Restaurants has a fifty-two week low of $71.68 and a fifty-two week high of $100.11. The stock has a market cap of $11,864.19, a PE ratio of 22.76, a PEG ratio of 1.86 and a beta of 0.16. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.47, a current ratio of 0.34 and a quick ratio of 0.20.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, February 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, January 10th were given a dividend of $0.63 per share. This represents a $2.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.67%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, January 9th. Darden Restaurants’s payout ratio is currently 64.62%.

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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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