Wedbush Reiterates Hold Rating for Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI)

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI)‘s stock had its “hold” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Wedbush in a research report issued on Wednesday, TipRanks reports. They presently have a $125.00 price objective on the restaurant operator’s stock. Wedbush’s price target suggests a potential upside of 5.49% from the stock’s previous close.

A number of other research analysts have also issued reports on DRI. Citigroup lowered their target price on shares of Darden Restaurants from $144.00 to $138.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, September 24th. Maxim Group set a $126.00 target price on shares of Darden Restaurants and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, September 13th. MKM Partners initiated coverage on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Tuesday, August 13th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $120.00 price target for the company. Wells Fargo & Co raised their price target on Darden Restaurants from $116.00 to $117.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research report on Thursday, September 12th. Finally, SunTrust Banks lowered their price target on Darden Restaurants from $141.00 to $139.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, September 20th. Eleven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Darden Restaurants presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $128.34.

DRI opened at $118.49 on Wednesday. The firm has a market cap of $14.52 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.36, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.09 and a beta of 0.34. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.18, a quick ratio of 0.30 and a current ratio of 0.43. The business has a 50 day moving average price of $113.55 and a 200 day moving average price of $118.84. Darden Restaurants has a twelve month low of $95.83 and a twelve month high of $128.41.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, September 19th. The restaurant operator reported $1.38 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.36 by $0.02. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 31.37% and a net margin of 8.36%. The company had revenue of $2.13 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.13 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.34 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.5% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, analysts anticipate that Darden Restaurants will post 6.38 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other Darden Restaurants news, Director Nana Mensah sold 1,103 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, October 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $112.00, for a total value of $123,536.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, SVP Douglas J. Milanes sold 1,600 shares of Darden Restaurants stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, September 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $119.05, for a total value of $190,480.00. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 6,793 shares in the company, valued at approximately $808,706.65. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.47% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 3.9% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 14,961,350 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $1,821,245,000 after acquiring an additional 559,649 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. boosted its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 23.3% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 13,792,587 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $1,678,972,000 after purchasing an additional 2,605,688 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp boosted its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 0.6% during the third quarter. State Street Corp now owns 5,852,155 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $691,842,000 after purchasing an additional 32,745 shares in the last quarter. Bank of America Corp DE boosted its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 2.9% during the second quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 4,926,013 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $599,643,000 after purchasing an additional 139,204 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Newport Trust Co grew its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 0.7% in the 2nd quarter. Newport Trust Co now owns 2,608,233 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $317,500,000 after purchasing an additional 17,706 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 90.12% 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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