Darden Restaurants, Inc. (DRI) stock trades up, “Buy” rating reiterated by Canaccord Genuity Analysts

Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE: DRI) shares rose in early trading today on lower trade volume than normal after a number of analysts weighed in on the investing value of the stock and reiterated thier respective ratings.

Meanwhile, U.S. stocks opened significantly lower in early trading. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was 58 points lower, or 0.29% to 19895, the S&P 500 fell 7 points, or 0.28% to 2268, while the Nasdaq dropped 22 points, or 0.38% to 5542.

Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE: DRI) had its Buy rating reiterated by equities researchers at Canaccord Genuity in a research note to investors. Canaccord Genuity currently has a rating of Buy on the stock. A number of other analysts have issued reports on the stock recently, and the company has secured a consensus one-year price target of $76.17, above the opening price of $72.87, a difference of 10.39 percent. Darden Restaurants, Inc. stock has a 52-week high of $79.43. Usually, after analysts issue a “reiterated rating” report on a stock, they will subsequently issue recurring updates, such as a price target change.

Shares of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE: DRI) opened at $72.87 yesterday trading between $72.68 and $73.48, and last traded at $73.33, a jump of $0.44 compared to the previous closing price.

Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE: DRI) currently has a market cap of 9.11B.

Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE: DRI) Average Daily Trading Volume

130,535 shares crossed the trading desk yesterday, 32 percent lower than the average, out of a total float 123,883,000. lower than normal. Look for trading volume to pick up in the coming days as investors often use increases in trading volume to identify heavy volume accumulation or distribution by institutional investors.

While increased trading for short periods will not mean much will not mean much, conversely, a trend of heavy trading volume on the buy side over a period of days or weeks sends a positive signal to market traders that institutions may be moving in, so institutional sponsorship is very important.

Institutional sponsorship is defined by ownership of a stock by mutual funds, banks, pension funds and other large institutions.

Institutional investors such as these have teams of analysts that investigate thousands of stocks. So watching their interests is a good way to ensure you are buying the right stocks.

Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE: DRI) Moving Averages

A moving average can also act as support or resistance. In an uptrend a 50-day, 100-day or 200-day moving average may act as a support level, as shown in the figure below.

This is because the average acts like a floor (support), so the price bounces up off of it.

In a downtrend a moving average may act as resistance; like a ceiling, the price hits it and then starts to drop again.

By tracking the activity of these professional investors—and the moving averages they affect—it allows for traders to make more effective decisions on trades.

Trades for Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE: DRI) have ranged from $55.77 – 79.43, and the stock now has a 50-day MA of $74.81 and 200-day MA of $66.03. Today’s last price is 7.68%% lower than the 52 week high of $79.43.

Earnings growth is a critical factor to consider when buying stocks and investors identify companies that have grown their earnings by at least 25% for 3 consecutive years.

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