Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) Given Average Rating of “Moderate Buy” by Analysts

Shares of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRIGet Rating) have earned a consensus recommendation of “Moderate Buy” from the twenty-three analysts that are presently covering the company, MarketBeat.com reports. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold recommendation and fourteen have given a buy recommendation to the company. The average 12 month price target among analysts that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $144.55.

A number of equities analysts have weighed in on the company. KeyCorp boosted their target price on Darden Restaurants from $136.00 to $150.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 6th. Citigroup boosted their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $140.00 to $156.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, September 12th. Royal Bank of Canada boosted their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $143.00 to $144.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Friday, September 23rd. Sanford C. Bernstein assumed coverage on Darden Restaurants in a report on Wednesday, September 7th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $153.00 price objective on the stock. Finally, Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft decreased their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $131.00 to $129.00 and set a “hold” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, September 23rd.

Darden Restaurants Stock Up 0.4 %

Shares of NYSE DRI opened at $146.05 on Friday. Darden Restaurants has a one year low of $110.96 and a one year high of $155.25. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.43, a current ratio of 0.52 and a quick ratio of 0.37. The firm’s 50 day simple moving average is $133.93 and its two-hundred day simple moving average is $126.58. The stock has a market capitalization of $17.87 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.26, a PEG ratio of 1.88 and a beta of 1.23.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRIGet Rating) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, September 22nd. The restaurant operator reported $1.56 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $1.56. The business had revenue of $2.45 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.47 billion. Darden Restaurants had a net margin of 9.36% and a return on equity of 40.33%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $1.76 earnings per share. As a group, analysts expect that Darden Restaurants will post 7.68 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Darden Restaurants Announces Dividend

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, November 1st. Investors of record on Monday, October 10th were given a $1.21 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Friday, October 7th. This represents a $4.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.31%. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 67.13%.

Insider Buying and Selling at Darden Restaurants

In other news, Chairman Eugene I. Lee, Jr. sold 19,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, October 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $132.75, for a total transaction of $2,522,250.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 203,480 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $27,011,970. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. In other news, Director Nana Mensah sold 1,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, October 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $128.47, for a total transaction of $128,470.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 74 shares in the company, valued at $9,506.78. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Chairman Eugene I. Lee, Jr. sold 19,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, October 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $132.75, for a total value of $2,522,250.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 203,480 shares in the company, valued at $27,011,970. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 45,057 shares of company stock valued at $6,092,586 in the last ninety days. Insiders own 0.93% of the company’s stock.

Institutional Inflows and Outflows

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Parallel Advisors LLC grew its stake in Darden Restaurants by 36.5% in the second quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC now owns 703 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $80,000 after purchasing an additional 188 shares in the last quarter. Kentucky Retirement Systems Insurance Trust Fund raised its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 6.6% during the first quarter. Kentucky Retirement Systems Insurance Trust Fund now owns 3,770 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $501,000 after buying an additional 232 shares during the last quarter. First United Bank & Trust bought a new stake in Darden Restaurants during the second quarter worth approximately $215,000. Boston Partners increased its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 2.4% in the first quarter. Boston Partners now owns 914,158 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $121,521,000 after buying an additional 21,577 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Independent Advisor Alliance increased its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 180.3% in the first quarter. Independent Advisor Alliance now owns 4,535 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $603,000 after buying an additional 2,917 shares in the last quarter. 89.62% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Darden Restaurants Company Profile

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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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