Brokerages Expect Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) Will Announce Earnings of $1.07 Per Share

Equities analysts expect that Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) will report $1.07 earnings per share (EPS) for the current quarter, Zacks reports. Twelve analysts have issued estimates for Darden Restaurants’ earnings. The lowest EPS estimate is $1.00 and the highest is $1.12. Darden Restaurants posted earnings of $0.92 per share during the same quarter last year, which would indicate a positive year over year growth rate of 16.3%. The firm is expected to issue its next earnings report on Tuesday, December 17th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Darden Restaurants will report full-year earnings of $6.38 per share for the current year, with EPS estimates ranging from $6.30 to $6.44. For the next year, analysts anticipate that the business will post earnings of $6.77 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $6.63 to $6.98. Zacks’ EPS calculations are a mean average based on a survey of sell-side research firms that cover Darden Restaurants.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last released its earnings results on Thursday, September 19th. The restaurant operator reported $1.38 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.36 by $0.02. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 31.37% and a net margin of 8.36%. The firm had revenue of $2.13 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.13 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.34 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 3.5% compared to the same quarter last year.

A number of research firms recently commented on DRI. Deutsche Bank began coverage on Darden Restaurants in a report on Friday, June 28th. They set a “hold” rating and a $123.00 target price for the company. Wedbush reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $125.00 target price on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Thursday, August 29th. Stephens downgraded Darden Restaurants from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and set a $121.75 target price for the company. in a report on Friday, June 28th. MKM Partners began coverage on Darden Restaurants in a report on Tuesday, August 13th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $120.00 target price for the company. Finally, Barclays decreased their target price on Darden Restaurants from $130.00 to $126.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a report on Friday, October 18th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $128.34.

Darden Restaurants stock opened at $108.82 on Wednesday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.30, a current ratio of 0.43 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.18. Darden Restaurants has a 52 week low of $95.83 and a 52 week high of $128.41. The company has a market capitalization of $13.54 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.70, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.95 and a beta of 0.36. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $118.21 and a 200 day moving average price of $119.78.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, November 1st. Investors of record on Thursday, October 10th will be given a dividend of $0.88 per share. This represents a $3.52 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.23%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, October 9th. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio is currently 60.48%.

In other news, SVP Douglas J. Milanes sold 1,600 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, September 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $119.05, for a total value of $190,480.00. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 6,793 shares in the company, valued at $808,706.65. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, SVP John W. Madonna sold 1,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, July 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $124.12, for a total value of $124,120.00. Following the completion of the sale, 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. 0.47% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Wetherby Asset Management Inc. increased its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 1.5% in the second quarter. Wetherby Asset Management Inc. now owns 5,334 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $649,000 after buying an additional 81 shares in the last quarter. NuWave Investment Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 34.5% in the second quarter. NuWave Investment Management LLC now owns 351 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $43,000 after acquiring an additional 90 shares during the last quarter. State of Michigan Retirement System boosted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 0.3% in the third quarter. State of Michigan Retirement System now owns 29,553 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $3,494,000 after acquiring an additional 100 shares during the last quarter. HM Payson & Co. boosted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 0.8% in the second quarter. HM Payson & Co. now owns 12,674 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $1,543,000 after acquiring an additional 101 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 1.7% in the second quarter. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. now owns 7,151 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $870,000 after acquiring an additional 118 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 91.53% 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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