Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) Price Target Raised to $175.00

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) had its price target raised by analysts at Robert W. Baird from $160.00 to $175.00 in a research report issued to clients and investors on Friday, The Fly reports. The firm presently has an “outperform” rating on the restaurant operator’s stock. Robert W. Baird’s price target would indicate a potential upside of 10.27% from the company’s current price.

Several other research firms have also issued reports on DRI. BMO Capital Markets increased their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $140.00 to $150.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research note on Friday, June 25th. Royal Bank of Canada increased their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $158.00 to $162.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, June 22nd. Wedbush increased their target price on Darden Restaurants from $150.00 to $162.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Piper Sandler increased their target price on Darden Restaurants from $157.00 to $168.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday. Finally, KeyCorp increased their target price on Darden Restaurants from $165.00 to $180.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty-two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Based on data from MarketBeat, the stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $167.13.

Shares of NYSE DRI opened at $158.70 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 1.01, a quick ratio of 0.91 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.33. The business has a fifty day simple moving average of $146.32 and a 200 day simple moving average of $143.42. Darden Restaurants has a one year low of $89.34 and a one year high of $164.28. The firm has a market capitalization of $20.68 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 33.27, a PEG ratio of 2.01 and a beta of 1.54.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, September 22nd. The restaurant operator reported $1.76 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.65 by $0.11. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 22.25% and a net margin of 8.74%. The firm had revenue of $2.31 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.24 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.56 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 51.0% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, research analysts anticipate that Darden Restaurants will post 7.41 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Darden Restaurants declared that its board has authorized a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, September 23rd that authorizes the company to repurchase $750.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the restaurant operator to buy up to 3.6% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are usually a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

In other news, CEO Eugene I. Lee, Jr. sold 4,900 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, July 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $150.02, for a total transaction of $735,098.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 233,607 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $35,045,722.14. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, COO Ricardo Cardenas sold 7,989 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $151.27, for a total value of $1,208,496.03. Following the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 50,944 shares in the company, valued at approximately $7,706,298.88. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 141,327 shares of company stock worth $21,170,373 in the last three months. Insiders own 0.95% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in DRI. Monumental Financial Group Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Darden Restaurants during the second quarter worth about $25,000. O Shaughnessy Asset Management LLC raised its position in Darden Restaurants by 65.4% in the 1st quarter. O Shaughnessy Asset Management LLC now owns 215 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $31,000 after buying an additional 85 shares during the last quarter. E Fund Management Co. Ltd. acquired a new stake in Darden Restaurants in the 1st quarter valued at approximately $33,000. Patriot Financial Group Insurance Agency LLC raised its position in Darden Restaurants by 57.7% in the 2nd quarter. Patriot Financial Group Insurance Agency LLC now owns 235 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $34,000 after buying an additional 86 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Certified Advisory Corp acquired a new stake in Darden Restaurants in the 1st quarter valued at approximately $36,000. 87.38% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Darden Restaurants

Darden Restaurants, Inc is a full-service restaurant company, which engages in the provision of restaurant services. It operates through the following segments: Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Fine Dining, and Other Business. The Olive Garden segment is the largest full-service dining Italian restaurant operator.

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