Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) – Stock analysts at SunTrust Banks issued their Q3 2018 EPS estimates for shares of Darden Restaurants in a report issued on Thursday. SunTrust Banks analyst J. Bartlett forecasts that the restaurant operator will earn $1.62 per share for the quarter. SunTrust Banks currently has a “Hold” rating and a $104.00 price target on the stock. SunTrust Banks also issued estimates for Darden Restaurants’ Q4 2018 earnings at $1.50 EPS, FY2018 earnings at $4.78 EPS and FY2019 earnings at $5.74 EPS.
A number of other brokerages have also recently issued reports on DRI. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Darden Restaurants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $111.00 price objective for the company in a report on Monday, January 8th. Wells Fargo & Co restated a “market perform” rating and set a $99.00 price objective (up previously from $92.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Tuesday, January 9th. Maxim Group restated a “buy” rating and set a $112.00 price objective (up previously from $103.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Tuesday, January 9th. Credit Suisse Group restated a “hold” rating and set a $95.00 price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Friday. Finally, BMO Capital Markets set a $99.00 price target on shares of Darden Restaurants and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have issued a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $96.22.
Shares of Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) traded up $0.42 during midday trading on Monday, reaching $98.02. 1,076,300 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,617,489. The firm has a market capitalization of $11,960.00, a PE ratio of 24.69, a P/E/G ratio of 1.90 and a beta of 0.20. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.47, a quick ratio of 0.20 and a current ratio of 0.34. Darden Restaurants has a 52-week low of $71.43 and a 52-week high of $100.11.
Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, December 19th. The restaurant operator reported $0.73 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.70 by $0.03. Darden Restaurants had a net margin of 6.46% and a return on equity of 26.24%.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, February 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, January 10th will be given a $0.63 dividend. This represents a $2.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.57%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, January 9th. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio is presently 63.48%.
In other news, insider Eugene I. Lee, Jr. sold 59,783 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, January 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $96.80, for a total value of $5,786,994.40. Following the sale, the insider now owns 164,396 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $15,913,532.80. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, SVP Douglas J. Milanes sold 4,300 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, January 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $97.05, for a total transaction of $417,315.00. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 7,513 shares in the company, valued at approximately $729,136.65. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 74,866 shares of company stock worth $7,252,094. 0.63% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in DRI. D.A. Davidson & CO. raised its position 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 acquiring an additional 21 shares in the last quarter. M&R Capital Management Inc. bought a new stake in Darden Restaurants during the second quarter worth $108,000. Moisand Fitzgerald Tamayo LLC bought a new stake in Darden Restaurants during the third quarter worth $115,000. Grove Bank & Trust raised its position in Darden Restaurants by 155.6% during the third quarter. Grove Bank & Trust now owns 1,840 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $145,000 after acquiring an additional 1,120 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Carlson Capital Management bought a new stake in Darden Restaurants during the fourth quarter worth $229,000. 91.83% of the stock is currently 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).
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