Darden Restaurants, Inc. (DRI) Earns Hold Rating from Maxim Group

Maxim Group restated their hold rating on shares of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) in a report published on Thursday morning. Maxim Group currently has a $80.00 price objective on the restaurant operator’s stock.

“We maintain our Hold rating on Darden Restaurants (DRI), though raise our price target to $80 (from $74) to account for the shift in our base valuation year to FY19 ahead of the release of F3Q17 (February) earnings before the open on Tuesday, March 28.”,” the firm’s analyst commented.

Several other equities analysts have also commented on the company. KeyCorp reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $80.00 price target on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Monday, February 6th. Credit Suisse Group AG downgraded Darden Restaurants from an outperform rating to a neutral rating and cut their price target for the stock from $73.93 to $72.00 in a report on Tuesday, November 29th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Darden Restaurants from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $86.00 price target on the stock in a report on Tuesday, February 21st. Guggenheim upgraded Darden Restaurants from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a report on Thursday, December 1st. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG downgraded Darden Restaurants from a buy rating to a hold rating and set a $76.00 price objective on the stock. in a report on Friday, December 16th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have assigned a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $75.14.

Shares of Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) opened at 75.58 on Thursday. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $75.35 and a 200 day moving average price of $70.60. Darden Restaurants has a one year low of $59.50 and a one year high of $79.43. The firm has a market cap of $9.38 billion, a P/E ratio of 22.14 and a beta of 0.28.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, March 28th. The restaurant operator reported $1.32 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.28 by $0.04. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 25.92% and a net margin of 6.22%. The business had revenue of $1.88 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.87 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.21 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 1.7% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts forecast that Darden Restaurants will post $3.94 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, May 1st. Investors of record on Monday, April 10th will be paid a $0.56 dividend. This represents a $2.24 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.96%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, April 6th. Darden Restaurants’s payout ratio is currently 65.50%.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Bruderman Asset Management LLC increased its position in Darden Restaurants by 0.5% in the third quarter. Bruderman Asset Management LLC now owns 3,404 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $209,000 after buying an additional 17 shares during the last quarter. Gateway Investment Advisers LLC increased its position in Darden Restaurants by 0.4% in the third quarter. Gateway Investment Advisers LLC now owns 10,523 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $645,000 after buying an additional 44 shares during the last quarter. Choate Investment Advisors increased its position in Darden Restaurants by 0.3% in the third quarter. Choate Investment Advisors now owns 13,381 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $821,000 after buying an additional 45 shares during the last quarter. First Manhattan Co. increased its position in Darden Restaurants by 2.8% in the third quarter. First Manhattan Co. now owns 2,754 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $168,000 after buying an additional 75 shares during the last quarter. Finally, UMB Bank N A MO increased its position in Darden Restaurants by 2.6% in the third quarter. UMB Bank N A MO now owns 3,720 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $228,000 after buying an additional 95 shares during the last quarter. 87.64% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Darden Restaurants Company Profile

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).

5 Day Chart for NYSE:DRI

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