Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) Stock Rating Reaffirmed by Stephens

Stephens reiterated their equal weight rating on shares of Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRIFree Report) in a research note released on Thursday, Marketbeat reports. They currently have a $165.00 price target on the restaurant operator’s stock.

DRI has been the subject of several other reports. Truist Financial restated a buy rating and set a $190.00 target price on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Friday, March 22nd. Evercore ISI dropped their price target on Darden Restaurants from $170.00 to $165.00 and set an in-line rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, June 13th. Oppenheimer dropped their price target on Darden Restaurants from $186.00 to $182.00 and set an outperform rating for the company in a research note on Friday, March 22nd. Bank of America dropped their price target on Darden Restaurants from $194.00 to $180.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, June 13th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets lifted their price target on Darden Restaurants from $160.00 to $165.00 and gave the stock a market perform rating in a research note on Thursday, March 7th. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and sixteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. According to data from MarketBeat.com, Darden Restaurants currently has an average rating of Moderate Buy and an average target price of $174.20.

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Darden Restaurants Price Performance

Shares of NYSE DRI opened at $153.28 on Thursday. The stock has a market cap of $18.30 billion, a PE ratio of 17.99, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.63 and a beta of 1.29. Darden Restaurants has a fifty-two week low of $133.36 and a fifty-two week high of $176.84. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61, a quick ratio of 0.25 and a current ratio of 0.38. The stock has a fifty day moving average of $150.69 and a 200-day moving average of $159.62.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRIGet Free Report) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, June 20th. The restaurant operator reported $2.65 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $2.61 by $0.04. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 49.82% and a net margin of 9.02%. The business had revenue of $3 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.97 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $2.58 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 8.3% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts anticipate that Darden Restaurants will post 9.5 earnings per share for the current year.

Darden Restaurants Cuts Dividend

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, August 15th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, July 11th will be given a dividend of $1.29 per share. This represents a $5.16 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.37%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, July 10th. Darden Restaurants’s payout ratio is 61.50%.

Darden Restaurants declared that its board has approved a share repurchase plan on Thursday, March 21st that allows the company to buyback $1.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the restaurant operator to reacquire up to 5% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is 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 that occurred on Thursday, April 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $156.15, for a total transaction of $734,998.05. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 19,179 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,994,800.85. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. In related news, insider Melvin John Martin sold 7,673 shares of the firm’s 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 completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 17,208 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,848,268.16. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, SVP Matthew R. Broad sold 4,707 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred 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 transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 19,179 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,994,800.85. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 13,599 shares of company stock valued at $2,197,891 in the last 90 days. Insiders own 0.85% of the company’s stock.

Institutional Inflows and Outflows

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. EverSource Wealth Advisors LLC increased its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 34.8% in the 1st quarter. EverSource Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 279 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $43,000 after purchasing an additional 72 shares in the last quarter. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale lifted its position in Darden Restaurants by 17.1% during the first quarter. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale now owns 327,611 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $54,427,000 after purchasing an additional 47,915 shares in the last quarter. Boston Partners lifted its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 4.2% in the first quarter. Boston Partners now owns 846,994 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $141,553,000 after acquiring an additional 34,174 shares in the last quarter. Cetera Advisors LLC lifted its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 127.2% in the first quarter. Cetera Advisors LLC now owns 14,261 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $2,384,000 after acquiring an additional 7,983 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Cetera Investment Advisers lifted its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 395.9% in the first quarter. Cetera Investment Advisers now owns 37,563 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $6,279,000 after acquiring an additional 29,989 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 93.64% of the company’s stock.

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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Analyst Recommendations for Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI)

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