Darden Restaurants (DRI) Stock Rating Upgraded by Bank of America

Bank of America upgraded shares of Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research report report published on Friday, MarketBeat.com reports. The brokerage currently has $120.00 price target on the restaurant operator’s stock, up from their prior price target of $113.00.

Other research analysts have also issued reports about the company. Zacks Investment Research raised Darden Restaurants from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $121.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Friday, October 5th. Citigroup reduced their target price on Darden Restaurants from $128.00 to $125.00 and set a buy rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, October 4th. SunTrust Banks upped their target price on Darden Restaurants to $137.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Friday, September 21st. Canaccord Genuity upped their target price on Darden Restaurants from $120.00 to $125.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Friday, September 21st. Finally, Mizuho upped their target price on Darden Restaurants from $115.00 to $125.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Friday, September 21st. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and twenty have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Darden Restaurants currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $121.83.

Shares of NYSE:DRI opened at $107.99 on Friday. Darden Restaurants has a 1 year low of $82.38 and a 1 year high of $124.00. The stock has a market cap of $12.95 billion, a P/E ratio of 22.45, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.91 and a beta of 0.33. The company has a current ratio of 0.41, a quick ratio of 0.25 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.41.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, December 18th. The restaurant operator reported $0.92 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.91 by $0.01. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 30.48% and a net margin of 8.12%. The company had revenue of $1.97 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.98 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.73 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 4.9% compared to the same quarter last year. Research analysts expect that Darden Restaurants will post 5.67 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 1st. Stockholders of record on Thursday, January 10th will be issued a $0.75 dividend. This represents a $3.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.78%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, January 9th. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio is presently 13.10%.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Highwater Wealth Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Darden Restaurants in the fourth quarter worth about $67,000. Ffcm LLC boosted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 722.1% in the third quarter. Ffcm LLC now owns 49,966 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $143,000 after buying an additional 43,888 shares during the last quarter. Stratos Wealth Partners LTD. purchased a new stake in shares of Darden Restaurants in the third quarter worth about $149,000. Harvest Fund Management Co. Ltd boosted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 171.8% in the third 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. Finally, Moneta Group Investment Advisors LLC boosted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 92.9% in the second 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. 89.44% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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