Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) had its price target boosted by Morgan Stanley from $56.00 to $71.00 in a report released on Friday, BenzingaRatingsTable reports. Morgan Stanley currently has an equal weight rating on the restaurant operator’s stock.

DRI has been the topic of several other reports. BMO Capital Markets raised Darden Restaurants from an underperform rating to a market perform rating and increased their price objective for the company from $46.00 to $72.00 in a research report on Thursday, April 23rd. Robert W. Baird increased their target price on Darden Restaurants from $57.00 to $60.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a report on Wednesday, April 8th. Goldman Sachs Group raised Darden Restaurants from a sell rating to a neutral rating and lowered their target price for the company from $114.00 to $50.00 in a report on Friday, March 20th. Gordon Haskett raised Darden Restaurants from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, March 25th. Finally, Wedbush raised Darden Restaurants from a neutral rating to an outperform rating in a report on Sunday, April 19th. Fifteen analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, sixteen have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $90.48.

Darden Restaurants stock opened at $76.63 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.24, a current ratio of 0.41 and a quick ratio of 0.27. Darden Restaurants has a one year low of $26.15 and a one year high of $128.41. The stock has a market capitalization of $8.81 billion, a PE ratio of -191.58, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.96 and a beta of 1.32. The business’s fifty day moving average is $75.85 and its 200 day moving average is $87.82.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, June 25th. The restaurant operator reported ($1.24) EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of ($1.64) by $0.40. Darden Restaurants had a positive return on equity of 16.68% and a negative net margin of 0.67%. The company had revenue of $1.27 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.27 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.76 earnings per share. Darden Restaurants’s revenue was down 43.5% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, sell-side analysts expect that Darden Restaurants will post 2.46 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other Darden Restaurants news, insider Todd Burrowes bought 2,564 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, April 23rd. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $58.50 per share, for a total transaction of $149,994.00. Following the purchase, the insider now directly owns 25,216 shares in the company, valued at $1,475,136. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, CEO Eugene I. Lee, Jr. bought 25,641 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, April 23rd. The shares were acquired at an average price of $58.50 per share, for a total transaction of $1,499,998.50. Following the completion of the purchase, the chief executive officer now owns 177,264 shares in the company, valued at $10,369,944. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have purchased 37,178 shares of company stock worth $2,174,913. 0.47% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Capital World Investors grew its stake in Darden Restaurants by 29.1% during the 1st quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 6,550,761 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $356,754,000 after buying an additional 1,474,817 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp grew its stake in Darden Restaurants by 6.7% during the 1st quarter. State Street Corp now owns 6,156,113 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $335,262,000 after purchasing an additional 385,441 shares during the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. grew its stake in Darden Restaurants by 39.2% during the 1st quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 3,346,998 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $182,278,000 after purchasing an additional 942,118 shares during the last quarter. Capital International Investors grew its stake in Darden Restaurants by 23.2% during the 1st quarter. Capital International Investors now owns 3,332,094 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $181,466,000 after purchasing an additional 628,147 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Melvin Capital Management LP purchased a new stake in Darden Restaurants during the 1st quarter valued at about $175,634,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 88.12% 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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Analyst Recommendations for Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI)

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