Darden Restaurants (DRI) Given New $115.00 Price Target at Oppenheimer

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) had its price target increased by Oppenheimer from $105.00 to $115.00 in a research report sent to investors on Tuesday morning. They currently have an outperform rating on the restaurant operator’s stock. Oppenheimer also issued estimates for Darden Restaurants’ Q1 2019 earnings at $1.22 EPS, Q2 2019 earnings at $0.89 EPS, Q4 2019 earnings at $1.67 EPS, FY2019 earnings at $5.52 EPS and FY2020 earnings at $6.07 EPS.

DRI has been the subject of a number of other reports. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Darden Restaurants from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Monday, May 28th. Morgan Stanley lifted their price target on shares of Darden Restaurants from $90.00 to $103.00 and gave the stock an equal weight rating in a research report on Friday, June 22nd. Maxim Group reiterated a buy rating and set a $112.00 price target on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Wednesday, April 18th. Sanford C. Bernstein upgraded shares of Darden Restaurants from a market perform rating to an outperform rating in a research report on Thursday, April 19th. Finally, ValuEngine cut shares of Darden Restaurants from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 22nd. Ten research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and sixteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Darden Restaurants presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $106.38.

Shares of NYSE DRI opened at $107.06 on Tuesday. Darden Restaurants has a 1-year low of $76.27 and a 1-year high of $109.58. The stock has a market capitalization of $13.34 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.26, a P/E/G ratio of 2.11 and a beta of 0.20. The company has a quick ratio of 0.25, a current ratio of 0.40 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.42.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, June 21st. The restaurant operator reported $1.39 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.35 by $0.04. Darden Restaurants had a net margin of 7.38% and a return on equity of 29.02%. The company had revenue of $2.13 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.13 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.99 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 10.3% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts anticipate that Darden Restaurants will post 5.49 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, August 1st. Investors of record on Tuesday, July 10th will be issued a dividend of $0.75 per share. This represents a $3.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.80%. This is a boost from Darden Restaurants’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.63. Darden Restaurants’s payout ratio is currently 52.39%.

In related news, COO David C. George sold 60,970 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, June 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $106.99, for a total transaction of $6,523,180.30. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 43,223 shares in the company, valued at $4,624,428.77. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CFO Ricardo Cardenas sold 10,666 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, June 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $108.86, for a total transaction of $1,161,100.76. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 19,929 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,169,470.94. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 177,632 shares of company stock valued at $19,096,015. Corporate insiders own 0.63% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Segall Bryant & Hamill LLC acquired a new position in Darden Restaurants during the first quarter valued at approximately $247,000. Koch Industries Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Darden Restaurants in the first quarter valued at approximately $301,000. BRITISH COLUMBIA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT Corp boosted its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 16.7% in the fourth quarter. BRITISH COLUMBIA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT Corp now owns 64,256 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $6,170,000 after buying an additional 9,198 shares during the period. CIBC World Markets Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Darden Restaurants in the first quarter valued at approximately $2,611,000. Finally, IBM Retirement Fund acquired a new position in shares of Darden Restaurants in the first quarter valued at approximately $234,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 89.28% 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 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.

Analyst Recommendations for Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI)

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