Darden Restaurants’ (DRI) Buy Rating Reaffirmed at Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc.

Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reiterated their buy rating on shares of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) in a report published on Wednesday morning. They currently have a $100.00 target price on the restaurant operator’s stock. Oppenheimer Holdings also issued estimates for Darden Restaurants’ Q1 2018 earnings at $0.99 EPS, Q2 2018 earnings at $0.72 EPS and Q3 2018 earnings at $1.50 EPS.

Several other research analysts have also issued reports on DRI. Canaccord Genuity reissued a buy rating and set a $102.00 target price on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Friday, June 9th. Robert W. Baird restated a neutral rating and set a $90.00 price objective (up previously from $85.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Monday, June 19th. Maxim Group restated a hold rating and set a $90.00 price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Wednesday, June 21st. Morgan Stanley restated an equal weight rating and set a $86.00 price objective (up previously from $83.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Thursday, June 22nd. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Darden Restaurants from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Friday, June 23rd. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eighteen have given a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Darden Restaurants has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $84.91.

Shares of Darden Restaurants (NYSE DRI) opened at 82.88 on Wednesday. The firm has a market capitalization of $10.39 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.79 and a beta of 0.27. Darden Restaurants has a 52 week low of $60.16 and a 52 week high of $95.22. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $82.69 and a 200 day moving average of $84.83.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, June 27th. The restaurant operator reported $1.18 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.15 by $0.03. The business 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 prior year, the firm earned $1.10 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts predict that Darden Restaurants will post $4.47 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 1st. Investors of record on Tuesday, October 10th will be issued a dividend of $0.63 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, October 6th. This represents a $2.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.04%. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 66.14%.

In related news, insider Eugene I. Lee, Jr. sold 93,125 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $91.58, for a total transaction of $8,528,387.50. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 165,062 shares in the company, valued at $15,116,377.96. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Company insiders own 0.63% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Honkamp Krueger Financial Services Inc. increased its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 0.3% during the second quarter. Honkamp Krueger Financial Services Inc. now owns 2,788 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $252,000 after buying an additional 9 shares during the last quarter. Bruderman Asset Management LLC increased its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 0.4% during the second quarter. Bruderman Asset Management LLC now owns 2,532 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $229,000 after buying an additional 10 shares during the last quarter. Wedbush Securities Inc. increased its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 0.5% during the second quarter. Wedbush Securities Inc. now owns 3,195 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $289,000 after buying an additional 15 shares during the last quarter. D.A. Davidson & CO. increased its holdings 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 last quarter. Finally, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS increased its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 0.3% during the second quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS now owns 9,238 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $835,000 after buying an additional 28 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 88.65% of the company’s stock.

Darden Restaurants Company Profile

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).

Analyst Recommendations for Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI)

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