Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) had its price objective lifted by investment analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co. from $150.00 to $162.00 in a research report issued to clients and investors on Monday, Benzinga reports. The brokerage currently has an "overweight" rating on the restaurant operator's stock. JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s price objective points to a potential upside of 10.96% from the company's current price.
A number of other research analysts also recently commented on the company. Truist increased their target price on Darden Restaurants from $150.00 to $158.00 in a research report on Friday, March 26th. Wedbush raised their price target on Darden Restaurants from $126.00 to $146.00 and gave the stock a "neutral" rating in a research report on Thursday, April 1st. Cowen raised their price target on Darden Restaurants from $113.00 to $134.00 and gave the stock a "market perform" rating in a research report on Monday, March 15th. UBS Group increased their target price on Darden Restaurants from $160.00 to $165.00 and gave the stock a "buy" rating in a research note on Thursday, April 1st. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus increased their target price on Darden Restaurants from $120.00 to $140.00 and gave the stock a "hold" rating in a research note on Thursday, March 25th. Ten investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. Darden Restaurants presently has a consensus rating of "Buy" and a consensus price target of $140.48.
Shares of DRI opened at $146.00 on Monday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.38, a current ratio of 0.72 and a quick ratio of 0.59. Darden Restaurants has a 1 year low of $60.34 and a 1 year high of $149.73. The company has a 50 day simple moving average of $142.05 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $124.00. The firm has a market cap of $19.03 billion, a P/E ratio of -152.43, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.31 and a beta of 1.48.
Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, March 24th. The restaurant operator reported $0.98 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts' consensus estimates of $0.69 by $0.29. Darden Restaurants had a negative net margin of 1.70% and a positive return on equity of 10.47%. The business had revenue of $1.73 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.60 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.90 EPS. The company's revenue was down 26.1% on a year-over-year basis. On average, sell-side analysts anticipate that Darden Restaurants will post 3.3 earnings per share for the current year.
Darden Restaurants announced that its board has approved a share buyback program on Thursday, March 25th that permits the company to buyback $500.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization permits the restaurant operator to buy up to 2.7% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are usually a sign that the company's leadership believes its stock is undervalued.
In other Darden Restaurants news, COO Ricardo Cardenas sold 1,200 shares of the business's stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, April 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $147.04, for a total value of $176,448.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 48,169 shares of the company's stock, valued at $7,082,769.76. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, SVP Susan M. Connelly sold 7,783 shares of the business's stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, April 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $144.83, for a total value of $1,127,211.89. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 10,143 shares of the company's stock, valued at $1,469,010.69. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 134,424 shares of company stock valued at $18,249,880 in the last ninety days. Corporate insiders own 1.00% of the company's stock.
Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Morgan Stanley increased its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 26.1% in the fourth quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 329,285 shares of the restaurant operator's stock valued at $39,224,000 after buying an additional 68,258 shares in the last quarter. Truist Financial Corp increased its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 40.8% during the fourth quarter. Truist Financial Corp now owns 78,293 shares of the restaurant operator's stock worth $9,326,000 after purchasing an additional 22,675 shares in the last quarter. Rothschild Investment Corp IL increased its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 13.1% during the fourth quarter. Rothschild Investment Corp IL now owns 4,850 shares of the restaurant operator's stock worth $578,000 after purchasing an additional 560 shares in the last quarter. Conning Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Darden Restaurants during the fourth quarter worth approximately $234,000. Finally, Boston Partners increased its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 1.4% during the fourth quarter. Boston Partners now owns 768,899 shares of the restaurant operator's stock worth $91,591,000 after purchasing an additional 10,498 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 89.35% of the company's stock.
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 31, 2020, it owned and operated approximately 1,804 restaurants, which included 868 under the Olive Garden, 522 under the LongHorn Steakhouse, 165 under the Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen, 81 under the Yard House, 60 under The Capital Grille, 44 under the Seasons 52, 41 under the Bahama Breeze, and 23 under the Eddie V's Prime Seafood brands.
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