Barclays Lowers Darden Restaurants (DRI) Price Target to $129.00

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) had its price objective cut by equities researchers at Barclays from $133.00 to $129.00 in a research note issued on Thursday. The brokerage currently has an “overweight” rating on the restaurant operator’s stock. Barclays’ price target points to a potential upside of 16.70% from the company’s current price.

A number of other equities analysts have also weighed in on DRI. Zacks Investment Research lowered Darden Restaurants from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, November 16th. Mizuho lifted their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $115.00 to $125.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, September 21st. Loop Capital began coverage on Darden Restaurants in a research note on Wednesday, October 24th. They set a “buy” rating and a $130.00 price objective for the company. Maxim Group reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $112.00 price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Thursday, September 20th. Finally, Morgan Stanley lifted their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $110.00 to $112.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Friday, September 21st. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and eighteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Darden Restaurants currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $119.52.

Shares of DRI stock opened at $110.54 on Thursday. The firm has a market capitalization of $13.81 billion, a P/E ratio of 22.98, a PEG ratio of 2.12 and a beta of 0.17. The company has a quick ratio of 0.26, a current ratio of 0.41 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.41. Darden Restaurants has a 1 year low of $82.38 and a 1 year high of $124.00.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, September 20th. The restaurant operator reported $1.34 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.24 by $0.10. The business had revenue of $2.06 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.03 billion. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 30.32% and a net margin of 7.84%. The company’s revenue was up 6.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.99 EPS. Analysts forecast that Darden Restaurants will post 5.62 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, COO David C. George sold 55,671 shares of Darden Restaurants stock in a transaction dated Thursday, October 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $108.24, for a total value of $6,025,829.04. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 95,236 shares in the company, valued at approximately $10,308,344.64. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Eugene I. Lee, Jr. sold 60,688 shares of Darden Restaurants stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $112.63, for a total value of $6,835,289.44. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 147,561 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $16,619,795.43. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.65% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Stratos Wealth Partners LTD. purchased a new position in shares of Darden Restaurants in the 3rd quarter valued at about $149,000. Harvest Fund Management Co. Ltd boosted its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 171.8% in the 3rd quarter. Harvest Fund Management Co. Ltd now owns 1,571 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $175,000 after buying an additional 993 shares during the last quarter. Smithfield Trust Co. boosted its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 537.3% in the 3rd quarter. Smithfield Trust Co. now owns 1,625 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $181,000 after buying an additional 1,370 shares during the last quarter. Moneta Group Investment Advisors LLC boosted its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 92.9% in the 2nd quarter. Moneta Group Investment Advisors LLC now owns 1,640 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $176,000 after buying an additional 790 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Putnam Investments LLC acquired a new stake in Darden Restaurants in the 3rd quarter worth about $201,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 88.91% 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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