Citigroup Lowers Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) Price Target to $144.00

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) had its price objective trimmed by Citigroup from $146.00 to $144.00 in a research report sent to investors on Friday, June 28th, Stock Target Advisor reports. The firm currently has a buy rating on the restaurant operator’s stock.

Other equities research analysts also recently issued research reports about the company. Zacks Investment Research raised Eutelsat Communications from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating and set a $21.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, June 12th. Deutsche Bank set a $142.00 target price on MCCORMICK & CO /SH and gave the stock a hold rating in a research note on Friday, June 28th. Gordon Haskett upgraded Darden Restaurants from an underperform rating to a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, March 21st. UBS Group restated a hold rating and set a $7.80 target price on shares of Deutsche Bank in a research note on Friday, April 26th. Finally, SunTrust Banks increased their price target on Darden Restaurants to $141.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Friday, March 22nd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and seventeen have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $130.39.

NYSE DRI traded up $0.34 during trading on Friday, reaching $124.41. 999,035 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,299,449. The firm’s 50 day simple moving average is $121.02. The firm has a market capitalization of $15.26 billion, a PE ratio of 21.38, a P/E/G ratio of 1.92 and a beta of 0.32. The company has a quick ratio of 0.46, a current ratio of 0.61 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.39. Darden Restaurants has a fifty-two week low of $95.83 and a fifty-two week high of $125.99.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, June 20th. The restaurant operator reported $1.76 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.73 by $0.03. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 31.61% and a net margin of 8.38%. The firm had revenue of $2.23 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.24 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.39 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 4.5% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts forecast that Darden Restaurants will post 6.39 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, August 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, July 10th will be paid a $0.88 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, July 9th. This is an increase from Darden Restaurants’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.75. This represents a $3.52 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.83%. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 60.48%.

In other news, COO David C. George sold 69,779 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, June 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $123.25, for a total value of $8,600,261.75. Following the completion of the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 109,344 shares in the company, valued at approximately $13,476,648. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, CFO Ricardo Cardenas sold 14,128 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, July 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $124.87, for a total value of $1,764,163.36. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 23,848 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,977,899.76. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.65% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in DRI. NuWave Investment Management LLC lifted its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 34.5% during the 2nd quarter. NuWave Investment Management LLC now owns 351 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $43,000 after buying an additional 90 shares in the last quarter. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans raised its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 1.8% in the 4th quarter. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans now owns 5,410 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $540,000 after purchasing an additional 95 shares during the period. LPL Financial LLC raised its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 0.8% in the 4th quarter. LPL Financial LLC now owns 12,467 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $1,245,000 after purchasing an additional 98 shares during the period. Wealthfront Advisers LLC raised its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 2.9% in the 1st quarter. Wealthfront Advisers LLC now owns 3,941 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $479,000 after purchasing an additional 112 shares during the period. Finally, Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC raised its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 20.8% in the 1st quarter. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC now owns 655 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $79,000 after purchasing an additional 113 shares during the period. 88.97% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Darden Restaurants Company Profile

Darden Restaurants, Inc, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates full-service restaurants in the United States and Canada. As of May 27, 2018, it owned and operated approximately 1,746 restaurants under the Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen, Yard House, The Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52, and Eddie V's brands.

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Analyst Recommendations for Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI)

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