Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) Upgraded at ValuEngine

ValuEngine upgraded shares of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday, September 1st.

Other equities analysts also recently issued reports about the company. Bank of America Corporation set a $80.00 target price on Darden Restaurants and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Monday, June 26th. Raymond James Financial, Inc. reaffirmed a market perform rating on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Monday, July 24th. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. boosted their price objective on Darden Restaurants in a research report on Monday, June 26th. Zacks Investment Research raised Darden Restaurants from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $100.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Tuesday, July 11th. Finally, Canaccord Genuity reissued a buy rating and set a $102.00 price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Friday, June 9th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have assigned a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company. Darden Restaurants has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $85.18.

Shares of Darden Restaurants (DRI) opened at 83.86 on Friday. The stock has a market capitalization of $10.52 billion, a PE ratio of 22.05 and a beta of 0.27. Darden Restaurants has a 1-year low of $60.16 and a 1-year high of $95.22. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $82.69 and a 200 day moving average of $84.57.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, June 27th. The restaurant operator reported $1.18 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.15 by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $1.94 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.86 billion. Darden Restaurants had a net margin of 6.68% and a return on equity of 26.18%. Darden Restaurants’s revenue was up 8.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.10 EPS. Analysts predict that Darden Restaurants will post $4.47 EPS for the current year.

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In related news, insider Eugene I. Lee, Jr. sold 93,125 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, June 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $91.58, for a total transaction of $8,528,387.50. Following the sale, the insider now owns 165,062 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $15,116,377.96. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 0.63% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. M&R Capital Management Inc. purchased a new position in Darden Restaurants during the second quarter worth about $108,000. D.A. Davidson & CO. lifted its position in Darden Restaurants by 1.7% during the second quarter. D.A. Davidson & CO. now owns 1,271 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $114,000 after buying an additional 21 shares during the period. Farmers & Merchants Investments Inc. lifted its position in Darden Restaurants by 255.5% during the second quarter. Farmers & Merchants Investments Inc. now owns 1,422 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $129,000 after buying an additional 1,022 shares during the period. Van ECK Associates Corp lifted its position in Darden Restaurants by 4.6% during the first quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp now owns 1,625 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $136,000 after buying an additional 71 shares during the period. Finally, Huntington National Bank lifted its position in Darden Restaurants by 4.6% during the second quarter. Huntington National Bank now owns 1,578 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $143,000 after buying an additional 70 shares during the period. 88.76% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Darden Restaurants

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).

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Analyst Recommendations for Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI)

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