Maxim Group Reaffirms “Buy” Rating for Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI)

Maxim Group reissued their buy rating on shares of Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) in a report issued on Thursday, Briefing.com Automated Import reports. They currently have a $132.00 price objective on the restaurant operator’s stock, up from their previous price objective of $128.00.

DRI has been the subject of several other research reports. UBS Group began coverage on Darden Restaurants in a research note on Friday, April 26th. They issued a buy rating and a $133.00 price target for the company. Zacks Investment Research raised Darden Restaurants from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $133.00 price target for the company in a research note on Thursday, May 9th. Wedbush boosted their price target on Darden Restaurants from $120.00 to $130.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a research note on Thursday, May 23rd. Loop Capital boosted their price target on Darden Restaurants to $140.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Friday, March 22nd. Finally, BTIG Research boosted their price target on Darden Restaurants to $134.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Friday, March 22nd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and nineteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Darden Restaurants presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $130.12.

Shares of NYSE DRI opened at $118.90 on Thursday. The company has a market capitalization of $14.49 billion, a P/E ratio of 24.72, a PEG ratio of 1.78 and a beta of 0.30. Darden Restaurants has a 52 week low of $91.34 and a 52 week high of $125.33. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.40, a current ratio of 0.48 and a quick ratio of 0.33.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, March 21st. The restaurant operator reported $1.80 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.75 by $0.05. The business had revenue of $2.25 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.24 billion. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 30.28% and a net margin of 8.08%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 5.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $1.71 EPS. As a group, equities analysts forecast that Darden Restaurants will post 5.78 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, insider Eugene I. Lee, Jr. sold 73,152 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $118.61, for a total value of $8,676,558.72. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 190,025 shares in the company, valued at approximately $22,538,865.25. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, SVP John W. Madonna sold 330 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $118.76, for a total value of $39,190.80. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 1,680 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $199,516.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.65% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans lifted its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 1.8% during the fourth quarter. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans now owns 5,410 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $540,000 after buying an additional 95 shares during the last quarter. LPL Financial LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 0.8% during the fourth quarter. LPL Financial LLC now owns 12,467 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $1,245,000 after buying an additional 98 shares during the last quarter. Wealthfront Advisers LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 2.9% during the first quarter. Wealthfront Advisers LLC now owns 3,941 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $479,000 after buying an additional 112 shares during the last quarter. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 20.8% during the first quarter. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC now owns 655 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $79,000 after buying an additional 113 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Leisure Capital Management lifted its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 1.8% during the first quarter. Leisure Capital Management now owns 6,534 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $794,000 after buying an additional 117 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 88.86% of the company’s stock.

Darden Restaurants Company Profile

Darden Restaurants, Inc, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates full-service restaurants in the United States and Canada. As of May 27, 2018, it owned and operated approximately 1,746 restaurants under the Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen, Yard House, The Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52, and Eddie V's brands.

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Analyst Recommendations for Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI)

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