Morgan Stanley Lowers Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) Price Target to $175.00

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRIGet Free Report) had its price target decreased by stock analysts at Morgan Stanley from $180.00 to $175.00 in a research note issued on Wednesday, Benzinga reports. The brokerage presently has an “overweight” rating on the restaurant operator’s stock. Morgan Stanley’s target price suggests a potential upside of 18.66% from the stock’s current price.

Several other analysts also recently issued reports on DRI. Oppenheimer cut their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $186.00 to $182.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, March 22nd. Truist Financial restated a “buy” rating and issued a $190.00 price target on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Friday, March 22nd. Guggenheim lifted their price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants from $180.00 to $185.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, March 19th. BTIG Research upgraded Darden Restaurants from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $175.00 target price for the company in a report on Friday, May 17th. Finally, Citigroup lowered their price target on Darden Restaurants from $192.00 to $191.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, June 5th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and sixteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. According to data from MarketBeat, Darden Restaurants currently has an average rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average price target of $174.76.

Check Out Our Latest Stock Report on Darden Restaurants

Darden Restaurants Price Performance

Shares of NYSE DRI opened at $147.48 on Wednesday. Darden Restaurants has a twelve month low of $133.36 and a twelve month high of $176.84. The company has a current ratio of 0.39, a quick ratio of 0.25 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.63. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $151.14 and a two-hundred day moving average of $159.85. The company has a market capitalization of $17.60 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.29, a PEG ratio of 1.51 and a beta of 1.29.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRIGet Free Report) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, March 21st. The restaurant operator reported $2.62 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.63 by ($0.01). Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 49.94% and a net margin of 9.24%. The business had revenue of $2.97 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.02 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $2.34 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 6.8% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, analysts expect that Darden Restaurants will post 8.85 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Darden Restaurants announced that its board has authorized a stock buyback program on Thursday, March 21st that authorizes the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the restaurant operator to purchase up to 5% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are often an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

Insiders Place Their Bets

In other news, insider Melvin John Martin sold 7,673 shares of Darden Restaurants stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, March 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $165.52, for a total value of $1,270,034.96. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 17,208 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,848,268.16. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. In other news, insider Melvin John Martin sold 7,673 shares of Darden Restaurants stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, March 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $165.52, for a total value of $1,270,034.96. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 17,208 shares in the company, valued at $2,848,268.16. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, SVP Matthew R. Broad sold 4,707 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, April 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $156.15, for a total value of $734,998.05. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 19,179 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,994,800.85. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 13,599 shares of company stock valued at $2,197,891 over the last 90 days. 0.85% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Hedge Funds Weigh In On Darden Restaurants

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of DRI. Rise Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 131.3% during the first quarter. Rise Advisors LLC now owns 155 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $26,000 after buying an additional 88 shares during the last quarter. ESL Trust Services LLC bought a new stake in shares of Darden Restaurants in the 1st quarter worth approximately $27,000. Fortitude Family Office LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Darden Restaurants during the 4th quarter worth approximately $29,000. Hartford Financial Management Inc. increased its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 65.1% during the fourth quarter. Hartford Financial Management Inc. now owns 180 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $30,000 after purchasing an additional 71 shares during the period. Finally, Tennessee Valley Asset Management Partners acquired a new position in shares of Darden Restaurants in the fourth quarter valued at $33,000. 93.64% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Darden Restaurants Company Profile

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Darden Restaurants, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, owns and operates full-service restaurants in the United States and Canada. It operates under Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen, Yard House, The Capital Grille, Seasons 52, Bahama Breeze, Eddie V's Prime Seafood, and Capital Burger brand names.

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Analyst Recommendations for Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI)

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