Darden Restaurants Inc. (NYSE:DRI) issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday. The restaurant operator reported $0.88 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.82 by $0.06. The business earned $1.71 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.72 billion. Darden Restaurants had a net margin of 5.41% and a return on equity of 21.95%. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.68 earnings per share.
Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) opened at 61.36 on Tuesday. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $62.00 and its 200 day moving average is $63.88. Darden Restaurants has a 52-week low of $53.38 and a 52-week high of $68.83. The company has a market cap of $7.74 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.17 and a beta of 0.41.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 1st. Stockholders of record on Monday, October 10th will be given a dividend of $0.56 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, October 5th. This represents a $2.24 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.65%. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio is currently 76.98%.
In other Darden Restaurants news, Director James P. Fogarty bought 3,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 7th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $61.70 per share, for a total transaction of $185,100.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now owns 7,890 shares in the company, valued at approximately $486,813. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 0.69% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. WBI Investments Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Darden Restaurants during the second quarter worth $57,165,000. BlackRock Fund Advisors raised its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 12.2% in the second quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 4,646,824 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $294,330,000 after buying an additional 505,377 shares during the period. Korea Investment CORP raised its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 1,228.0% in the second quarter. Korea Investment CORP now owns 413,000 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $26,159,000 after buying an additional 381,900 shares during the period. Bessemer Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 35.3% in the second quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 915,255 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $57,972,000 after buying an additional 238,946 shares during the period. Finally, APG Asset Management N.V. raised its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 22.5% in the second quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 1,290,776 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $81,758,000 after buying an additional 237,000 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 94.57% of the company’s stock.
A number of brokerages have recently commented on DRI. Jefferies Group reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $64.00 price target (down from $66.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Saturday, July 2nd. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Darden Restaurants from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, July 26th. BMO Capital Markets restated a “hold” rating and issued a $64.00 target price on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Thursday, September 1st. Piper Jaffray Cos. restated an “overweight” rating and issued a $76.00 target price on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Thursday, August 25th. Finally, BTIG Research restated a “buy” rating and issued a $75.00 target price on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Friday, July 1st. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have assigned a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $70.63.
About Darden Restaurants
Darden Restaurants, Inc is a full-service restaurant company. The Company owned and operated 1,536 restaurants through its subsidiaries in the United States and Canada, as of May 29, 2016. The Company’s segments include Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Fine Dining (which includes The Capital Grille, and Eddie V’s Prime Seafood and Wildfish Seafood Grille (Eddie V’s)) and Other Business (which includes Yard House, Seasons 52, Bahama Breeze, consumer-packaged goods and franchise revenues).
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