Stifel Nicolaus Lowers Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) Price Target to $180.00

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRIGet Free Report) had its target price cut by Stifel Nicolaus from $190.00 to $180.00 in a research report issued on Friday, Benzinga reports. The firm presently has a “buy” rating on the restaurant operator’s stock. Stifel Nicolaus’ price objective points to a potential upside of 17.43% from the company’s current price.

Several other equities research analysts also recently issued reports on DRI. Stephens reissued an “equal weight” rating and set a $165.00 price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Thursday. Morgan Stanley lowered their price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants from $180.00 to $175.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, June 12th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered their price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants from $176.00 to $165.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a research report on Tuesday, May 28th. BTIG Research raised shares of Darden Restaurants from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $175.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Friday, May 17th. Finally, Barclays lowered their price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants from $187.00 to $180.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, June 14th. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and sixteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. Based on data from MarketBeat, the company currently has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average target price of $173.76.

Read Our Latest Stock Analysis on DRI

Darden Restaurants Trading Down 0.7 %

DRI opened at $153.28 on Friday. The firm’s fifty day moving average is $150.69 and its two-hundred day moving average is $159.63. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61, a quick ratio of 0.25 and a current ratio of 0.38. The firm has a market cap of $18.30 billion, a PE ratio of 17.99, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.63 and a beta of 1.29. Darden Restaurants has a twelve month low of $133.36 and a twelve month high of $176.84.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRIGet Free Report) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, June 20th. The restaurant operator reported $2.65 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $2.61 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $3 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.97 billion. Darden Restaurants had a net margin of 9.02% and a return on equity of 49.82%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business posted $2.58 earnings per share. Equities research analysts anticipate that Darden Restaurants will post 9.5 EPS for the current year.

Darden Restaurants announced that its board has initiated a share repurchase program on Thursday, March 21st that authorizes the company to buyback $1.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the restaurant operator to reacquire up to 5% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are often an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

Insider Transactions at Darden Restaurants

In other news, SVP Matthew R. Broad sold 4,707 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, April 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $156.15, for a total transaction of $734,998.05. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 19,179 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,994,800.85. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. In other Darden Restaurants news, SVP Matthew R. Broad sold 4,707 shares of Darden Restaurants stock in a transaction dated Thursday, April 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $156.15, for a total value of $734,998.05. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 19,179 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,994,800.85. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director William S. Simon sold 1,219 shares of Darden Restaurants stock in a transaction dated Monday, April 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $158.21, for a total transaction of $192,857.99. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 6,281 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $993,717.01. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders sold 13,599 shares of company stock worth $2,197,891. 0.85% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Hedge Funds Weigh In On Darden Restaurants

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Alps Advisors Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 3.0% during the 3rd quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. now owns 2,274 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $326,000 after purchasing an additional 66 shares during the last quarter. Union Savings Bank lifted its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 44.0% during the 4th quarter. Union Savings Bank now owns 216 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $35,000 after acquiring an additional 66 shares during the period. Cornerstone Wealth Group LLC lifted its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 0.4% during the 1st quarter. Cornerstone Wealth Group LLC now owns 16,550 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $2,766,000 after acquiring an additional 66 shares during the period. Hartford Financial Management Inc. lifted its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 65.1% during the 4th quarter. Hartford Financial Management Inc. now owns 180 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $30,000 after acquiring an additional 71 shares during the period. Finally, EverSource Wealth Advisors LLC raised its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 34.8% during the first quarter. EverSource Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 279 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $43,000 after buying an additional 72 shares during the last quarter. 93.64% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Darden Restaurants

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Darden Restaurants, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, owns and operates full-service restaurants in the United States and Canada. It operates under Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen, Yard House, The Capital Grille, Seasons 52, Bahama Breeze, Eddie V's Prime Seafood, and Capital Burger brand names.

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