Darden Restaurants’ (DRI) Market Perform Rating Reiterated at Raymond James Financial, Inc.

Raymond James Financial, Inc. reaffirmed their market perform rating on shares of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) in a research note issued to investors on Monday, July 24th.

Several other equities analysts have also weighed in on DRI. Wells Fargo & Company reaffirmed a market perform rating on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Tuesday, March 28th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Darden Restaurants from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, March 28th. Robert W. Baird reissued a hold rating and issued a $80.00 price target on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Tuesday, March 28th. BTIG Research lowered shares of Darden Restaurants from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a report on Wednesday, March 29th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada boosted their price target on shares of Darden Restaurants from $80.00 to $86.00 and gave the stock a sector perform rating in a report on Wednesday, March 29th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have assigned a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the stock. Darden Restaurants presently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $84.78.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE DRI) opened at 83.99 on Monday. The company has a market capitalization of $10.53 billion, a P/E ratio of 22.09 and a beta of 0.27. Darden Restaurants has a 12-month low of $60.16 and a 12-month high of $95.22. The company has a 50-day moving average of $86.34 and a 200 day moving average of $83.54.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, June 27th. The restaurant operator reported $1.18 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.15 by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $1.94 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.86 billion. Darden Restaurants had a net margin of 6.68% and a return on equity of 26.18%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 8.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.10 EPS. Equities research analysts forecast that Darden Restaurants will post $4.47 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, August 1st. Investors of record on Monday, July 10th were paid a dividend of $0.63 per share. This represents a $2.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.00%. This is a positive change from Darden Restaurants’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.56. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, July 6th. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio is presently 66.14%.

In related news, insider Eugene I. Lee, Jr. sold 93,125 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, June 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $91.58, for a total transaction of $8,528,387.50. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 165,062 shares in the company, valued at $15,116,377.96. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. 0.63% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in DRI. Toronto Dominion Bank increased its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 26.0% in the second quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank now owns 42,119 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $3,808,000 after buying an additional 8,694 shares during the period. Archford Capital Strategies LLC increased its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 9,550.4% in the second quarter. Archford Capital Strategies LLC now owns 12,449 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $731,000 after buying an additional 12,320 shares during the period. Cetera Investment Advisers acquired a new position in shares of Darden Restaurants during the second quarter worth about $349,000. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio increased its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 3.2% in the second quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 54,341 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $4,915,000 after buying an additional 1,706 shares during the period. Finally, Verition Fund Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Darden Restaurants during the second quarter worth about $527,000. 95.49% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Darden Restaurants Company Profile

Darden Restaurants, Inc is a full-service restaurant company. The Company owned and operated 1,536 restaurants through its subsidiaries in the United States and Canada, as of May 29, 2016. The Company’s segments include Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Fine Dining (which includes The Capital Grille, and Eddie V’s Prime Seafood and Wildfish Seafood Grille (Eddie V’s)) and Other Business (which includes Yard House, Seasons 52, Bahama Breeze, consumer-packaged goods and franchise revenues).

Analyst Recommendations for Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI)

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