Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) had its price objective raised by stock analysts at Stephens from $170.00 to $180.00 in a research report issued on Friday, The Fly reports. The brokerage presently has an "overweight" rating on the restaurant operator's stock. Stephens' price objective suggests a potential upside of 13.42% from the company's current price.
A number of other analysts have also recently commented on DRI. Stifel Nicolaus lifted their target price on Darden Restaurants from $155.00 to $165.00 and gave the stock a "hold" rating in a research report on Thursday. BTIG Research reiterated a "hold" rating on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Sunday, June 27th. KeyCorp boosted their price target on Darden Restaurants from $165.00 to $180.00 and gave the company an "overweight" rating in a research report on Friday. Robert W. Baird boosted their price target on Darden Restaurants from $160.00 to $175.00 and gave the company an "outperform" rating in a research report on Friday. Finally, BMO Capital Markets boosted their price target on Darden Restaurants from $150.00 to $155.00 and gave the company a "market perform" rating in a research report on Friday. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty-three have issued a buy rating to the stock. According to data from MarketBeat, the stock currently has a consensus rating of "Buy" and an average target price of $163.16.
NYSE DRI traded down $0.80 during trading on Friday, reaching $158.70. 1,313,448 shares of the company's stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,552,964. The stock has a market cap of $20.68 billion, a P/E ratio of 33.27, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.01 and a beta of 1.54. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.33, a quick ratio of 0.91 and a current ratio of 1.01. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $145.98 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $143.28. Darden Restaurants has a 1 year low of $89.34 and a 1 year high of $164.28.
Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, September 22nd. The restaurant operator reported $1.76 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks' consensus estimate of $1.65 by $0.11. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 22.25% and a net margin of 8.74%. The company had revenue of $2.31 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.24 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.56 EPS. Darden Restaurants's revenue for the quarter was up 51.0% on a year-over-year basis. Research analysts forecast that Darden Restaurants will post 7.41 EPS for the current fiscal year.
Darden Restaurants announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, September 23rd that authorizes the company to repurchase $750.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the restaurant operator to repurchase up to 3.6% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are generally an indication that the company's management believes its shares are undervalued.
In other news, COO Ricardo Cardenas sold 10,652 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $147.08, for a total transaction of $1,566,696.16. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 47,021 shares of the company's stock, valued at $6,915,848.68. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, SVP Douglas J. Milanes sold 12,385 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, July 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $150.01, for a total transaction of $1,857,873.85. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 26,659 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,999,116.59. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 141,327 shares of company stock valued at $21,170,373. 0.95% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Monumental Financial Group Inc. bought a new position in Darden Restaurants in the second quarter worth about $25,000. O Shaughnessy Asset Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 65.4% in the first quarter. O Shaughnessy Asset Management LLC now owns 215 shares of the restaurant operator's stock valued at $31,000 after purchasing an additional 85 shares during the period. E Fund Management Co. Ltd. acquired a new stake in shares of Darden Restaurants in the first quarter valued at approximately $33,000. Patriot Financial Group Insurance Agency LLC increased its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 57.7% in the second quarter. Patriot Financial Group Insurance Agency LLC now owns 235 shares of the restaurant operator's stock valued at $34,000 after purchasing an additional 86 shares during the period. Finally, Certified Advisory Corp acquired a new stake in shares of Darden Restaurants in the first quarter valued at approximately $36,000. 87.38% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Darden Restaurants Company Profile
Darden Restaurants, Inc is a full-service restaurant company, which engages in the provision of restaurant services. It operates through the following segments: Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Fine Dining, and Other Business. The Olive Garden segment is the largest full-service dining Italian restaurant operator.
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