Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) had its price target lifted by Wells Fargo & Co from $116.00 to $117.00 in a research report report published on Thursday morning, BenzingaRatingsTable reports. The brokerage currently has a market perform rating on the restaurant operator’s stock.

Several other analysts also recently issued reports on DRI. Citigroup decreased their price target on Darden Restaurants from $146.00 to $144.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a research note on Friday, June 28th. Wedbush reiterated a hold rating and set a $125.00 price target on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Thursday, August 29th. Maxim Group downgraded Darden Restaurants from a buy rating to a hold rating and set a $126.00 price target for the company. in a research note on Tuesday, July 16th. Deutsche Bank began coverage on Darden Restaurants in a research note on Friday, June 28th. They set a hold rating and a $123.00 price target for the company. Finally, MKM Partners began coverage on Darden Restaurants in a research note on Tuesday, August 13th. They set a neutral rating and a $120.00 price target for the company. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and fourteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $130.82.

DRI stock traded up $1.39 during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $127.45. The stock had a trading volume of 67,344 shares, compared to its average volume of 969,459. The company has a current ratio of 0.61, a quick ratio of 0.46 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.39. Darden Restaurants has a 1-year low of $95.83 and a 1-year high of $127.99. The company has a fifty day moving average of $121.62 and a 200 day moving average of $119.14. The stock has a market capitalization of $15.63 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.84, a PEG ratio of 1.97 and a beta of 0.34.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, June 20th. The restaurant operator reported $1.76 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.73 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $2.23 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.24 billion. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 31.61% and a net margin of 8.38%. The business’s revenue was up 4.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $1.39 EPS. As a group, sell-side analysts expect that Darden Restaurants will post 6.39 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, CFO Ricardo Cardenas sold 14,128 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $124.87, for a total transaction of $1,764,163.36. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 23,848 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,977,899.76. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, COO David C. George sold 69,779 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, June 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $123.25, for a total value of $8,600,261.75. Following the completion of the sale, the chief operating officer now owns 109,344 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $13,476,648. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 96,907 shares of company stock valued at $11,975,585. 0.47% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in DRI. BlackRock Inc. lifted its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 23.3% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 13,792,587 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $1,678,972,000 after acquiring an additional 2,605,688 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 3.9% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 14,961,350 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $1,821,245,000 after acquiring an additional 559,649 shares during the period. Nuveen Asset Management LLC lifted its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 2,824.3% in the 2nd quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 546,791 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $66,561,000 after acquiring an additional 528,093 shares during the period. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale lifted its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 1,273.3% in the 2nd quarter. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale now owns 319,230 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $38,850,000 after acquiring an additional 295,985 shares during the period. Finally, APG Asset Management N.V. lifted its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 98.5% in the 2nd quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 504,312 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $53,908,000 after acquiring an additional 250,200 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 91.28% of the company’s stock.

Darden Restaurants Company Profile

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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