Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday. The restaurant operator reported $1.71 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.64 by $0.07, Bloomberg Earnings reports. The business had revenue of $2.13 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.15 billion. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 26.24% and a net margin of 6.46%. The firm’s revenue was up 13.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.32 EPS. Darden Restaurants updated its FY18 guidance to $4.75-4.80 EPS.
Shares of Darden Restaurants stock traded down $6.54 during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $86.77. The stock had a trading volume of 2,154,715 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,498,527. The company has a market cap of $11,749.30, a PE ratio of 23.93, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.84 and a beta of 0.22. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.47, a current ratio of 0.34 and a quick ratio of 0.20. Darden Restaurants has a 12 month low of $75.20 and a 12 month high of $100.11.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, May 1st. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, April 10th will be issued a $0.63 dividend. This represents a $2.52 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.90%. Darden Restaurants’s payout ratio is 64.62%.
Several brokerages recently commented on DRI. Mizuho began coverage on Darden Restaurants in a research note on Thursday, March 15th. They set a “buy” rating and a $105.00 price objective on the stock. Maxim Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $112.00 price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Wednesday, March 14th. Zacks Investment Research raised Darden Restaurants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $106.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Monday, March 12th. Barclays reaffirmed an “overweight” rating and set a $116.00 price objective (up previously from $108.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Tuesday, January 16th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets set a $99.00 target price on Darden Restaurants and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, January 12th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have given a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $97.09.
In other news, CFO Ricardo Cardenas sold 10,783 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, January 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $97.17, for a total value of $1,047,784.11. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 20,046 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,947,869.82. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, SVP Douglas J. Milanes sold 4,300 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, January 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $97.05, for a total value of $417,315.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 7,513 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $729,136.65. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 74,866 shares of company stock valued at $7,252,094 in the last 90 days. 0.63% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in DRI. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 6.5% in the 3rd quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. now owns 21,347 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $1,682,000 after acquiring an additional 1,299 shares in the last quarter. Sei Investments Co. grew its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 76.1% during the third quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 67,070 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $5,284,000 after purchasing an additional 28,988 shares during the period. New York State Common Retirement Fund grew its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 0.5% during the third quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund now owns 271,340 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $21,376,000 after purchasing an additional 1,300 shares during the period. Russell Investments Group Ltd. grew its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 67.0% during the third quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 372,766 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $29,355,000 after purchasing an additional 149,498 shares during the period. Finally, Advisors Asset Management Inc. grew its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 8.4% during the third quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. now owns 9,994 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $787,000 after purchasing an additional 776 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 90.44% of the company’s stock.
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About Darden Restaurants
Darden Restaurants, Inc, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates full-service restaurants in the United States and Canada. As of June 27, 2017, it owned and operated approximately 1,700 restaurants under the Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen, Yard House, The Capital Grille, Seasons 52, Bahama Breeze, and Eddie V's brands.
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