Brokerages Set Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) PT at $178.67

Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRIGet Free Report) has been given a consensus recommendation of “Moderate Buy” by the twenty brokerages that are covering the stock, Marketbeat.com reports. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold recommendation and sixteen have issued a buy recommendation on the company. The average 1 year price target among brokerages that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $178.67.

A number of analysts have issued reports on the company. Guggenheim raised their target price on Darden Restaurants from $180.00 to $185.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, March 19th. BTIG Research upgraded shares of Darden Restaurants from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $175.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Friday, May 17th. TD Cowen reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $190.00 price target on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Monday, April 22nd. Truist Financial reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $190.00 price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Friday, March 22nd. Finally, BMO Capital Markets lifted their target price on Darden Restaurants from $160.00 to $165.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research report on Thursday, March 7th.

View Our Latest Analysis on Darden Restaurants

Darden Restaurants Stock Performance

DRI opened at $147.66 on Tuesday. Darden Restaurants has a twelve month low of $133.36 and a twelve month high of $176.84. The firm has a market capitalization of $17.62 billion, a PE ratio of 17.31, a PEG ratio of 1.65 and a beta of 1.27. The company has a current ratio of 0.39, a quick ratio of 0.25 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.63. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $156.64 and its 200 day moving average price is $160.33.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRIGet Free Report) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, March 21st. The restaurant operator reported $2.62 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.63 by ($0.01). Darden Restaurants had a net margin of 9.24% and a return on equity of 49.94%. The company had revenue of $2.97 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.02 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $2.34 earnings per share. Darden Restaurants’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.8% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, sell-side analysts expect that Darden Restaurants will post 8.85 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Darden Restaurants Announces Dividend

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, May 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, April 10th were given a $1.31 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, April 9th. This represents a $5.24 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.55%. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio is presently 61.43%.

Darden Restaurants announced that its board has authorized a share repurchase program on Thursday, March 21st that authorizes the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the restaurant operator to reacquire up to 5% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are typically a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

Insider Activity

In related news, Director William S. Simon sold 1,219 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, April 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $158.21, for a total transaction of $192,857.99. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 6,281 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $993,717.01. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. In other news, SVP Matthew R. Broad sold 4,707 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, April 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $156.15, for a total value of $734,998.05. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 19,179 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,994,800.85. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director William S. Simon sold 1,219 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, April 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $158.21, for a total transaction of $192,857.99. Following the transaction, the director now owns 6,281 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $993,717.01. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 13,599 shares of company stock worth $2,197,891. Corporate insiders own 0.85% of the company’s stock.

Institutional Trading of Darden Restaurants

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Rise Advisors LLC increased its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 131.3% in the 1st quarter. Rise Advisors LLC now owns 155 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $26,000 after acquiring an additional 88 shares during the last quarter. ESL Trust Services LLC acquired a new position in Darden Restaurants in the first quarter valued at approximately $27,000. Fortitude Family Office LLC purchased a new position in Darden Restaurants in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $29,000. Hartford Financial Management Inc. raised its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 65.1% during the fourth quarter. Hartford Financial Management Inc. now owns 180 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $30,000 after purchasing an additional 71 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Tennessee Valley Asset Management Partners acquired a new stake in Darden Restaurants during the fourth quarter worth approximately $33,000. 93.64% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Darden Restaurants Company Profile

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Darden Restaurants, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, owns and operates full-service restaurants in the United States and Canada. It operates under Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen, Yard House, The Capital Grille, Seasons 52, Bahama Breeze, Eddie V's Prime Seafood, and Capital Burger brand names.

Further Reading

Analyst Recommendations for Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI)

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