Darden Restaurants, Inc. (DRI) Receives Hold Rating from Maxim Group

Maxim Group reissued their hold rating on shares of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) in a research note issued to investors on Thursday. The brokerage currently has a $90.00 price target on the restaurant operator’s stock.

DRI has been the topic of a number of other research reports. Robert W. Baird reaffirmed a neutral rating and issued a $94.00 target price (up previously from $90.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Wednesday, June 28th. Raymond James Financial, Inc. reiterated a market perform rating on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Monday, July 24th. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reiterated a buy rating and issued a $100.00 price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Wednesday, September 20th. Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated a sector perform rating and issued a $96.00 price objective (up previously from $86.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Tuesday, June 27th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG raised their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $84.00 to $94.00 and gave the stock a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 28th. 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 company. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $84.91.

Darden Restaurants (DRI) opened at 82.88 on Thursday. 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 12 month low of $60.16 and a 12 month high of $95.22. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $82.69 and a 200-day moving average price of $84.83.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, June 27th. The restaurant operator reported $1.18 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ 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 return on equity of 26.18% and a net margin of 6.68%. The company’s revenue was up 8.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.10 EPS. On average, equities analysts forecast that Darden Restaurants will post $4.47 EPS for the current 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 paid 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 dividend 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 Darden Restaurants 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 completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 165,062 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $15,116,377.96. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 0.63% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its stake in Darden Restaurants by 3.6% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 14,211,162 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $1,189,048,000 after acquiring an additional 487,366 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. grew its stake in Darden Restaurants by 2.7% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 11,779,249 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $1,065,316,000 after acquiring an additional 314,996 shares during the period. American International Group Inc. grew its stake in Darden Restaurants by 1.3% in the first quarter. American International Group Inc. now owns 6,198,698 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $518,645,000 after acquiring an additional 77,248 shares during the period. State Street Corp grew its stake in Darden Restaurants by 0.3% in the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 5,479,782 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $495,583,000 after acquiring an additional 14,883 shares during the period. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company MN grew its stake in Darden Restaurants by 0.5% in the second quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 3,244,502 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $293,433,000 after acquiring an additional 15,194 shares during the period. 88.65% of the stock is 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).

Analyst Recommendations for Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI)

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