Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) Rating Reiterated by Piper Jaffray Companies

Piper Jaffray Companies reissued their overweight rating on shares of Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) in a research report report published on Friday morning, AnalystRatings.com reports. Piper Jaffray Companies currently has a $128.00 target price on the restaurant operator’s stock, up from their prior target price of $125.00. Piper Jaffray Companies also issued estimates for Darden Restaurants’ Q2 2020 earnings at $1.07 EPS, Q3 2020 earnings at $1.92 EPS, FY2020 earnings at $6.40 EPS, Q1 2021 earnings at $1.48 EPS, Q2 2021 earnings at $1.20 EPS, Q3 2021 earnings at $2.08 EPS, Q4 2021 earnings at $2.04 EPS and FY2021 earnings at $6.80 EPS.

Several other equities analysts have also issued reports on the stock. Wedbush reiterated a hold rating and set a $125.00 target price on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Thursday, August 29th. ValuEngine lowered shares of Darden Restaurants from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Thursday, August 1st. Wells Fargo & Co lifted their target price on shares of Darden Restaurants from $116.00 to $117.00 and gave the company a market perform rating in a report on Thursday, September 12th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Darden Restaurants from a buy rating to a hold rating and set a $125.00 target price for the company. in a report on Wednesday, June 12th. Finally, KeyCorp began coverage on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Tuesday, July 23rd. They set an overweight rating and a $140.00 target price for the company. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $125.72.

DRI stock opened at $119.80 on Friday. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $121.72 and a 200-day moving average price of $119.69. Darden Restaurants has a 52-week low of $95.83 and a 52-week high of $128.41. The firm has a market capitalization of $14.85 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.59, a PEG ratio of 1.87 and a beta of 0.34. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.18, a quick ratio of 0.46 and a current ratio of 0.43.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last released its earnings results on Thursday, September 19th. The restaurant operator reported $1.38 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.36 by $0.02. Darden Restaurants had a net margin of 8.36% and a return on equity of 31.37%. The firm had revenue of $2.13 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.13 billion. During the same period last year, the business earned $1.34 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 3.5% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, sell-side analysts forecast that Darden Restaurants will post 6.38 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, November 1st. Investors of record on Thursday, October 10th will be issued a $0.88 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, October 9th. This represents a $3.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.94%. Darden Restaurants’s payout ratio is currently 60.48%.

In related news, CFO Ricardo Cardenas sold 14,128 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $124.87, for a total value of $1,764,163.36. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 23,848 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,977,899.76. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, SVP John W. Madonna sold 1,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, July 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $124.12, for a total transaction of $124,120.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 8,726 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,083,071.12. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 27,128 shares of company stock valued at $3,375,323. 0.47% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in DRI. Penserra Capital Management LLC bought a new stake in Darden Restaurants in the 1st quarter worth approximately $40,000. NuWave Investment Management LLC boosted its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 34.5% in the 2nd quarter. NuWave Investment Management LLC now owns 351 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $43,000 after buying an additional 90 shares during the period. Coastal Investment Advisors Inc. boosted its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 115.6% in the 2nd quarter. Coastal Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 373 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $45,000 after buying an additional 200 shares during the period. Motco boosted its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 125.5% in the 2nd quarter. Motco now owns 451 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $55,000 after buying an additional 251 shares during the period. Finally, Kavar Capital Partners LLC bought a new position in Darden Restaurants in the 2nd quarter worth $60,000. Institutional investors own 91.30% of the company’s stock.

About Darden Restaurants

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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