Darden Restaurants Inc. (NYSE:DRI) had its price target cut by SunTrust Banks Inc. from $70.00 to $67.00 in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday, StockTargetPrices.com reports. The brokerage presently has a “neutral” rating on the restaurant operator’s stock. SunTrust Banks Inc.’s target price points to a potential upside of 8.55% from the company’s current price.
A number of other equities research analysts also recently issued reports on the stock. Wells Fargo & Co. downgraded shares of Darden Restaurants from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and cut their target price for the stock from $72.00 to $68.00 in a research report on Wednesday, July 13th. Stifel Nicolaus downgraded shares of Darden Restaurants from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $53.00 target price for the company. in a research report on Tuesday, July 26th. Piper Jaffray Cos. reiterated an “overweight” rating and issued a $76.00 target price (down previously from $78.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Saturday, July 2nd. Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. reiterated an “outperform” rating and issued a $70.00 target price on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Wednesday, September 7th. Finally, Canaccord Genuity started coverage on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Monday, August 22nd. They issued a “buy” rating and a $74.00 target price for the company. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have given a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $70.26.
Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) traded up 1.10% during trading on Wednesday, reaching $61.83. 1,449,808 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The company’s 50-day moving average is $61.98 and its 200-day moving average is $63.84. Darden Restaurants has a 1-year low of $53.38 and a 1-year high of $68.68. The company has a market capitalization of $7.80 billion, a PE ratio of 21.34 and a beta of 0.41.
Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, October 4th. The restaurant operator reported $0.88 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.82 by $0.06. Darden Restaurants had a net margin of 5.41% and a return on equity of 21.95%. The company earned $1.71 billion during the quarter. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.68 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 1.6% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts expect that Darden Restaurants will post $3.87 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 1st. Investors of record on Monday, October 10th will be issued a dividend of $0.56 per share. This represents a $2.24 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.63%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, October 5th. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio is currently 76.98%.
In other news, Director James P. Fogarty purchased 3,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, July 7th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $61.70 per share, with a total value of $185,100.00. Following the acquisition, the director now directly owns 7,890 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $486,813. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 0.69% of the company’s stock.
A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. CENTRAL TRUST Co increased its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 16.5% in the second quarter. CENTRAL TRUST Co now owns 1,799 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $114,000 after buying an additional 255 shares in the last quarter. Krilogy Financial LLC increased its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 1.6% in the second quarter. Krilogy Financial LLC now owns 2,133 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $135,000 after buying an additional 33 shares in the last quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. increased its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 9.0% in the second quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 2,369 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $150,000 after buying an additional 195 shares in the last quarter. M&R Capital Management Inc. bought a new position in shares of Darden Restaurants during the second quarter worth $158,000. Finally, Citizens Financial Group Inc RI increased its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 320.0% in the first quarter. Citizens Financial Group Inc RI now owns 2,520 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $167,000 after buying an additional 1,920 shares in the last quarter. 94.57% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
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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