Bank of America Raises Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) Price Target to $85.00

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) had its price target upped by Bank of America from $75.00 to $85.00 in a research report released on Friday, BenzingaRatingsTable reports. They currently have a buy rating on the restaurant operator’s stock.

Several other analysts have also weighed in on the stock. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted their price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants from $66.00 to $74.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a research note on Wednesday, June 24th. Wolfe Research began coverage on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Friday, April 17th. They issued an outperform rating and a $75.00 price target for the company. Robert W. Baird lifted their price target on shares of Darden Restaurants from $57.00 to $60.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 8th. Piper Sandler lifted their price target on shares of Darden Restaurants from $50.00 to $63.00 in a research report on Monday, March 30th. Finally, MKM Partners raised shares of Darden Restaurants from a neutral rating to a buy rating and set a $90.00 price target for the company in a research report on Tuesday, May 19th. Fifteen research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, sixteen have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. Darden Restaurants currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $90.48.

NYSE:DRI opened at $76.63 on Friday. The company has a fifty day moving average of $75.85 and a 200-day moving average of $87.82. The firm has a market capitalization of $8.81 billion, a P/E ratio of -191.58, a P/E/G ratio of 2.96 and a beta of 1.32. The company has a quick ratio of 0.27, a current ratio of 0.41 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.24. Darden Restaurants has a twelve month low of $26.15 and a twelve month high of $128.41.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, June 25th. The restaurant operator reported ($1.24) earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of ($1.64) by $0.40. The company had revenue of $1.27 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.27 billion. Darden Restaurants had a negative net margin of 0.67% and a positive return on equity of 16.68%. Darden Restaurants’s revenue for the quarter was down 43.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $1.76 EPS. On average, analysts anticipate that Darden Restaurants will post 2.46 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other Darden Restaurants news, COO David C. George bought 4,273 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, April 23rd. The shares were bought at an average cost of $58.50 per share, for a total transaction of $249,970.50. Following the purchase, the chief operating officer now directly owns 64,928 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,798,288. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CEO Eugene I. Lee, Jr. bought 25,641 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, April 23rd. The shares were acquired at an average price of $58.50 per share, for a total transaction of $1,499,998.50. Following the completion of the purchase, the chief executive officer now directly owns 177,264 shares in the company, valued at $10,369,944. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders have bought a total of 37,178 shares of company stock worth $2,174,913 over the last quarter. Company insiders own 0.47% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in DRI. Victory Capital Management Inc. raised its stake in Darden Restaurants by 18.0% in the 4th quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 2,404,880 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $262,156,000 after acquiring an additional 366,909 shares during the period. Natixis Advisors L.P. raised its stake in Darden Restaurants by 36.7% in the 4th quarter. Natixis Advisors L.P. now owns 18,170 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $1,981,000 after acquiring an additional 4,875 shares during the period. Banque Cantonale Vaudoise bought a new stake in Darden Restaurants in the 4th quarter valued at about $705,000. Fjarde AP Fonden Fourth Swedish National Pension Fund raised its stake in Darden Restaurants by 25.5% in the 4th quarter. Fjarde AP Fonden Fourth Swedish National Pension Fund now owns 18,691 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $2,038,000 after acquiring an additional 3,800 shares during the period. Finally, ING Groep NV raised its stake in Darden Restaurants by 13.1% in the 4th quarter. ING Groep NV now owns 6,419 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $700,000 after acquiring an additional 744 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 88.12% of the company’s stock.

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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