Zacks: Analysts Expect Darden Restaurants, Inc. (DRI) Will Announce Earnings of $1.73 Per Share

Equities analysts expect Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) to announce $1.73 earnings per share for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks Investment Research reports. Ten analysts have provided estimates for Darden Restaurants’ earnings, with the lowest EPS estimate coming in at $1.69 and the highest estimate coming in at $1.75. Darden Restaurants posted earnings per share of $1.39 in the same quarter last year, which would suggest a positive year over year growth rate of 24.5%. The business is scheduled to announce its next earnings results on Thursday, June 20th.

On average, analysts expect that Darden Restaurants will report full-year earnings of $5.78 per share for the current financial year, with EPS estimates ranging from $5.75 to $5.81. For the next year, analysts anticipate that the company will report earnings of $6.43 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $6.30 to $6.60. Zacks’ EPS calculations are a mean average based on a survey of research analysts that that provide coverage for Darden Restaurants.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, March 21st. The restaurant operator reported $1.80 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.75 by $0.05. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 30.28% and a net margin of 8.08%. The business had revenue of $2.25 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.24 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.71 earnings per share. Darden Restaurants’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.5% on a year-over-year basis.



Several analysts have issued reports on the company. Zacks Investment Research lowered Darden Restaurants from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday. UBS Group started coverage on Darden Restaurants in a research note on Friday, April 26th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $133.00 price objective for the company. Citigroup upped their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $120.00 to $146.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 3rd. Wells Fargo & Co upped their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $110.00 to $120.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research note on Friday, March 22nd. Finally, Morgan Stanley upped their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $112.00 to $121.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Friday, March 22nd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and eighteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $129.38.

NYSE:DRI traded down $0.93 during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $120.03. 58,613 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,237,250. Darden Restaurants has a one year low of $84.37 and a one year high of $124.00. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.40, a quick ratio of 0.33 and a current ratio of 0.48. The firm has a market capitalization of $14.89 billion, a PE ratio of 24.97, a P/E/G ratio of 2.03 and a beta of 0.29.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, May 1st. Investors of record on Wednesday, April 10th were given a $0.75 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, April 9th. This represents a $3.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.50%. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio is currently 62.37%.

In related news, insider Eugene I. Lee, Jr. sold 73,152 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $118.61, for a total value of $8,676,558.72. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 190,025 shares in the company, valued at $22,538,865.25. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, SVP John W. Madonna sold 330 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $118.76, for a total value of $39,190.80. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 1,680 shares in the company, valued at $199,516.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.65% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of DRI. Sageworth Trust Co purchased a new stake in shares of Darden Restaurants in the first quarter worth approximately $25,000. NuWave Investment Management LLC raised its stake in Darden Restaurants by 3,628.6% in the 1st quarter. NuWave Investment Management LLC now owns 261 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $32,000 after acquiring an additional 254 shares during the last quarter. Fort L.P. purchased a new position in Darden Restaurants in the 1st quarter worth $35,000. Private Capital Group LLC raised its stake in Darden Restaurants by 356.5% in the 4th quarter. Private Capital Group LLC now owns 315 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $31,000 after acquiring an additional 246 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Penserra Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in Darden Restaurants in the 1st quarter worth $40,000. Institutional investors own 91.35% of the company’s stock.

About Darden Restaurants

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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Earnings History and Estimates for Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI)

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