Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) Price Target Raised to $170.00

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRIGet Free Report) had its target price upped by analysts at Raymond James from $167.00 to $170.00 in a research report issued to clients and investors on Friday, Benzinga reports. The brokerage currently has an “outperform” rating on the restaurant operator’s stock. Raymond James’ price target suggests a potential upside of 11.58% from the company’s current price.

Other equities analysts also recently issued reports about the company. Stephens restated an “equal weight” rating and issued a $165.00 target price on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Thursday. BMO Capital Markets boosted their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $160.00 to $165.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research report on Thursday, March 7th. Guggenheim boosted their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $180.00 to $185.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, March 19th. Oppenheimer reduced their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $186.00 to $182.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, March 22nd. Finally, BTIG Research upgraded 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. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and sixteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. According to MarketBeat.com, the stock has an average rating of “Moderate Buy” and a consensus target price of $173.76.

Get Our Latest Stock Report on DRI

Darden Restaurants Stock Down 1.3 %

NYSE:DRI traded down $1.93 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $152.36. The stock had a trading volume of 913,489 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,186,515. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.63, a current ratio of 0.39 and a quick ratio of 0.25. The stock’s 50 day simple moving average is $150.69 and its two-hundred day simple moving average is $159.69. Darden Restaurants has a 1-year low of $133.36 and a 1-year high of $176.84. The company has a market capitalization of $18.19 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.87, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.60 and a beta of 1.29.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRIGet Free Report) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, June 20th. The restaurant operator reported $2.65 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.61 by $0.04. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 49.94% and a net margin of 9.24%. The company had revenue of $3 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.97 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $2.58 earnings per share. Darden Restaurants’s quarterly revenue was up 8.3% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts anticipate that Darden Restaurants will post 8.85 EPS for the current year.

Darden Restaurants declared that its board has initiated a stock buyback plan on Thursday, March 21st that authorizes the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the restaurant operator to reacquire up to 5% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are usually a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

Insider Buying and Selling at Darden Restaurants

In other Darden Restaurants news, SVP Matthew R. Broad sold 4,707 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, April 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $156.15, for a total value of $734,998.05. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 19,179 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,994,800.85. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. In other Darden Restaurants news, SVP Matthew R. Broad sold 4,707 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, April 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $156.15, for a total value of $734,998.05. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 19,179 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,994,800.85. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, insider Melvin John Martin sold 7,673 shares of Darden Restaurants stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, March 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $165.52, for a total transaction of $1,270,034.96. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 17,208 shares in the company, valued at $2,848,268.16. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 13,599 shares of company stock valued at $2,197,891. Corporate insiders own 0.85% of the company’s stock.

Hedge Funds Weigh In On Darden Restaurants

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Raymond James & Associates grew its position in Darden Restaurants by 11.9% during the 1st quarter. Raymond James & Associates now owns 2,202,711 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $368,183,000 after purchasing an additional 234,410 shares in the last quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP grew its position in Darden Restaurants by 10.3% during the 4th quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 1,809,155 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $297,244,000 after purchasing an additional 169,642 shares in the last quarter. Morgan Stanley grew its position in Darden Restaurants by 13.8% during the 3rd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 1,669,789 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $239,148,000 after purchasing an additional 202,139 shares in the last quarter. Earnest Partners LLC grew its position in Darden Restaurants by 5.5% during the 1st quarter. Earnest Partners LLC now owns 1,572,642 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $262,867,000 after purchasing an additional 82,356 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Northern Trust Corp grew its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 5.4% during the 3rd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 1,467,716 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $210,206,000 after acquiring an additional 75,287 shares in the last quarter. 93.64% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Darden Restaurants

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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.

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