Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) Coverage Initiated by Analysts at Stephens

Stephens assumed coverage on shares of Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRIGet Rating) in a research note released on Thursday, The Fly reports. The firm issued an overweight rating on the restaurant operator’s stock.

Other research analysts also recently issued research reports about the company. Stifel Nicolaus restated a buy rating on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Friday, June 24th. Bank of America initiated coverage on Darden Restaurants in a research note on Monday, June 27th. They issued a buy rating and a $145.00 target price for the company. MKM Partners cut their target price on Darden Restaurants from $165.00 to $150.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a research note on Tuesday, June 14th. Credit Suisse Group dropped their price target on Darden Restaurants from $175.00 to $152.00 and set an outperform rating for the company in a research report on Friday, June 24th. Finally, Robert W. Baird dropped their price target on Darden Restaurants from $160.00 to $146.00 and set an outperform rating for the company in a research report on Tuesday, June 21st. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eighteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. Based on data from MarketBeat, the company currently has an average rating of Moderate Buy and a consensus price target of $144.19.

Darden Restaurants Stock Down 4.4 %

DRI stock opened at $125.45 on Thursday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.41, a quick ratio of 0.49 and a current ratio of 0.64. The company has a market capitalization of $15.55 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.95, a PEG ratio of 1.75 and a beta of 1.30. Darden Restaurants has a fifty-two week low of $110.96 and a fifty-two week high of $164.28. The stock has a fifty day moving average of $126.54 and a 200-day moving average of $125.52.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRIGet Rating) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, September 22nd. The restaurant operator reported $1.56 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $1.56. The company had revenue of $2.45 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.47 billion. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 39.05% and a net margin of 9.89%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 6.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.76 EPS. As a group, equities research analysts predict that Darden Restaurants will post 7.7 earnings per share for the current year.

Darden Restaurants Dividend Announcement

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 1st. Shareholders of record on Monday, October 10th will be paid a $1.21 dividend. This represents a $4.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.86%. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 65.41%.

Darden Restaurants declared that its Board of Directors has approved a share buyback program on Thursday, June 23rd that authorizes the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the restaurant operator to purchase up to 6.6% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are often a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

Insiders Place Their Bets

In other Darden Restaurants news, Director Timothy J. Wilmott acquired 10,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, June 28th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $120.00 per share, for a total transaction of $1,200,000.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 27,094 shares in the company, valued at $3,251,280. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. In other Darden Restaurants news, Director Timothy J. Wilmott acquired 10,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, June 28th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $120.00 per share, for a total transaction of $1,200,000.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 27,094 shares in the company, valued at $3,251,280. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Chairman Eugene I. Lee, Jr. sold 41,442 shares of Darden Restaurants stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $124.71, for a total value of $5,168,231.82. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now owns 222,480 shares in the company, valued at $27,745,480.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.93% of the company’s stock.

Institutional Investors Weigh In On Darden Restaurants

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in DRI. James Reed Financial Services Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Darden Restaurants during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $26,000. Princeton Global Asset Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Darden Restaurants during the first quarter valued at approximately $27,000. Dravo Bay LLC bought a new stake in shares of Darden Restaurants during the first quarter valued at approximately $27,000. PSI Advisors LLC boosted its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 571.4% in the second quarter. PSI Advisors LLC now owns 235 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $27,000 after acquiring an additional 200 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Heritage Wealth Management LLC bought a new stake in Darden Restaurants in the second quarter worth $31,000. 89.62% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Darden Restaurants

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Darden Restaurants, Inc, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates full-service restaurants in the United States and Canada. As of May 29, 2022, it owned and operated 1,867 restaurants, which included 884 under the Olive Garden brand, 546 under the LongHorn Steakhouse brand name, 172 under the Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen brand, 85 under the Yard House brand name, 62 under The Capital Grille brand, 45 under the Seasons 52 brand name, 42 under the Bahama Breeze brand, 28 under the Eddie V's Prime Seafood brand name, and 3 under the Capital Burger brand; and franchised 60 restaurants comprising 35 under the Olive Garden brand, 18 under the LongHorn Steakhouse brand name, 4 under the Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen brand, 2 under The Capital Grille brand name, and 1 under the Bahama Breeze brand.Darden Restaurants, Inc was founded in 1968 and is based in Orlando, Florida.

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Analyst Recommendations for Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI)

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