Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday, November 6th.
According to Zacks, “Most of Darden’s brands have witnessed growth over the past few quarters given various sales initiatives like simplifying kitchen systems, operational excellence, menu innovation along with technology-driven moves. The acquisition of Cheddar's has added an undisputed casual dining value leader to Darden's portfolio of differentiated brands, which is expected to further drive comps. Initiatives to attract guests at Olive Garden, LongHorn and other units also bode well. Further, it’s efforts to check costs are commendable. Backed by these efforts, Darden’s first-quarter fiscal 2018 earnings topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the 12th consecutive quarter. However, Darden’s shares have underperformed the industry over the past six months. Going forward, rising labor costs and a non-franchised business model are likely to dampen the company’s profits, while a soft industry backdrop might pressurize comps.”
Other equities analysts also recently issued reports about the stock. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Darden Restaurants from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a report on Sunday, July 16th. Raymond James Financial, Inc. reaffirmed a market perform rating on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Monday, July 24th. Robert W. Baird reaffirmed a hold rating and issued a $94.00 target price on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Tuesday, September 19th. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reiterated a buy rating and set a $100.00 price target on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Wednesday, September 20th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada lowered their price target on shares of Darden Restaurants from $96.00 to $90.00 and set a sector perform rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, September 27th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have issued a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the stock. Darden Restaurants presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $87.59.
Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, September 26th. The restaurant operator reported $0.99 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $0.99. The company had revenue of $1.94 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.93 billion. Darden Restaurants had a net margin of 6.60% and a return on equity of 26.06%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 12.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.88 EPS. research analysts forecast that Darden Restaurants will post 4.43 earnings per share for the current year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, November 1st. Investors of record on Tuesday, October 10th were paid a $0.63 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Friday, October 6th. This represents a $2.52 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.14%. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 65.12%.
Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in DRI. Honkamp Krueger Financial Services Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 0.3% in the second quarter. Honkamp Krueger Financial Services Inc. now owns 2,788 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $252,000 after acquiring an additional 9 shares during the last quarter. Bruderman Asset Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 0.4% in the second quarter. Bruderman Asset Management LLC now owns 2,532 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $229,000 after acquiring an additional 10 shares during the last quarter. Wedbush Securities Inc. raised its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 0.5% in the 2nd quarter. Wedbush Securities Inc. now owns 3,195 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $289,000 after buying an additional 15 shares during the last quarter. D.A. Davidson & CO. raised its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 1.7% in the 2nd quarter. D.A. Davidson & CO. now owns 1,271 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $114,000 after buying an additional 21 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS raised its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 0.3% in the 2nd quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS now owns 9,238 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $835,000 after buying an additional 28 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 90.36% of the company’s stock.
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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).
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