$1.21 EPS Expected for Darden Restaurants, Inc. (DRI) This Quarter

Wall Street brokerages expect that Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) will report earnings of $1.21 per share for the current quarter, Zacks Investment Research reports. Eight analysts have issued estimates for Darden Restaurants’ earnings, with the highest EPS estimate coming in at $1.25 and the lowest estimate coming in at $1.14. Darden Restaurants reported earnings of $0.99 per share during the same quarter last year, which would suggest a positive year-over-year growth rate of 22.2%. The company is expected to report its next quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, September 25th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Darden Restaurants will report full-year earnings of $5.50 per share for the current year, with EPS estimates ranging from $5.40 to $5.60. For the next financial year, analysts anticipate that the company will post earnings of $6.04 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $5.75 to $6.30. Zacks Investment Research’s earnings per share averages are an average based on a survey of analysts that that provide coverage for Darden Restaurants.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, June 21st. The restaurant operator reported $1.39 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.35 by $0.04. The firm had revenue of $2.13 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.13 billion. Darden Restaurants had a net margin of 7.38% and a return on equity of 29.02%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 10.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.99 EPS.

Several equities analysts recently commented on the stock. Maxim Group lowered shares of Darden Restaurants from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $112.00 target price on the stock. in a report on Monday, July 16th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Darden Restaurants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $126.00 target price on the stock in a report on Monday, July 16th. Citigroup increased their target price on shares of Darden Restaurants from $100.00 to $128.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, July 12th. Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed an “overweight” rating and set a $120.00 target price on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Monday, July 23rd. Finally, Barclays increased their target price on shares of Darden Restaurants from $117.00 to $121.00 and gave the company a “$112.15” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 18th. Ten equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and sixteen have given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $110.77.

In other Darden Restaurants news, CFO Ricardo Cardenas sold 10,666 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, June 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $108.86, for a total transaction of $1,161,100.76. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 19,929 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,169,470.94. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, insider Daniel J. Kiernan sold 6,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, June 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $107.38, for a total transaction of $644,280.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 6,715 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $721,056.70. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 182,236 shares of company stock valued at $19,609,826 in the last three months. 0.63% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. BlackRock Inc. lifted its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 3.8% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 11,054,427 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $1,183,487,000 after purchasing an additional 401,736 shares during the period. Wells Fargo & Company MN lifted its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 0.3% in the 1st quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 3,466,121 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $295,487,000 after purchasing an additional 9,044 shares during the period. Victory Capital Management Inc. lifted its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 12.3% in the 2nd quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 2,621,385 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $280,646,000 after purchasing an additional 288,019 shares during the period. American Century Companies Inc. lifted its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 18.6% in the 1st quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 2,002,547 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $170,717,000 after purchasing an additional 313,371 shares during the period. Finally, Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. lifted its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 5.6% in the 2nd quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 1,012,324 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $108,380,000 after purchasing an additional 53,292 shares during the period. 89.40% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of Darden Restaurants traded up $0.05, hitting $109.47, on Friday, MarketBeat reports. 892,686 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,204,149. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.42, a quick ratio of 0.25 and a current ratio of 0.40. Darden Restaurants has a one year low of $76.27 and a one year high of $112.81. The firm has a market cap of $13.52 billion, a P/E ratio of 22.76, a P/E/G ratio of 2.13 and a beta of 0.18.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, August 1st. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, July 10th were given a dividend of $0.75 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, July 9th. This represents a $3.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.74%. This is a boost from Darden Restaurants’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.63. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio is presently 52.39%.

Darden Restaurants Company Profile

Darden Restaurants, Inc, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates full-service restaurants in the United States and Canada. As of May 27, 2018, it owned and operated approximately 1,746 restaurants under the Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen, Yard House, The Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52, and Eddie V's brands.

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

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