Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) – Jefferies Financial Group lifted their Q2 2019 earnings per share estimates for Darden Restaurants in a report released on Thursday, September 20th. Jefferies Financial Group analyst A. Barish now expects that the restaurant operator will post earnings of $0.95 per share for the quarter, up from their previous estimate of $0.94. Jefferies Financial Group currently has a “Hold” rating and a $100.00 price target on the stock. Jefferies Financial Group also issued estimates for Darden Restaurants’ FY2019 earnings at $5.60 EPS, Q1 2020 earnings at $1.42 EPS, Q2 2020 earnings at $1.05 EPS, Q3 2020 earnings at $1.81 EPS, Q4 2020 earnings at $1.90 EPS and FY2020 earnings at $6.18 EPS.

Other equities analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. Argus upped their price target on shares of Darden Restaurants from $108.00 to $125.00 in a research note on Monday, June 25th. Barclays upped their price target on shares of Darden Restaurants from $117.00 to $121.00 and gave the stock a “$112.15” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 18th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Darden Restaurants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, June 22nd. SunTrust Banks upped their price target on shares of Darden Restaurants to $117.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, June 22nd. Finally, Mizuho upped their price target on shares of Darden Restaurants to $115.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, June 22nd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and fifteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $120.09.

Shares of Darden Restaurants stock opened at $113.08 on Monday. The stock has a market capitalization of $13.95 billion, a P/E ratio of 23.49, a PEG ratio of 2.15 and a beta of 0.15. Darden Restaurants has a 1 year low of $77.55 and a 1 year high of $124.00. The company has a current ratio of 0.41, a quick ratio of 0.26 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.41.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, September 20th. The restaurant operator reported $1.34 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.24 by $0.10. The company had revenue of $2.06 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.03 billion. Darden Restaurants had a net margin of 7.84% and a return on equity of 30.32%. Darden Restaurants’s revenue was up 6.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.99 EPS.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, November 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, October 10th will be paid a dividend of $0.75 per share. This represents a $3.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.65%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, October 9th. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio is currently 39.29%.

In other Darden Restaurants news, COO David C. George sold 60,970 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $106.99, for a total transaction of $6,523,180.30. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 43,223 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,624,428.77. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director William S. Simon sold 2,418 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, July 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $112.09, for a total transaction of $271,033.62. Following the transaction, the director now owns 12,666 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,419,731.94. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 65,574 shares of company stock worth $7,036,991 in the last 90 days. Company insiders own 0.65% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Segall Bryant & Hamill LLC bought a new position in shares of Darden Restaurants in the 1st quarter worth approximately $247,000. Carillon Tower Advisers Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 339.4% in the 2nd quarter. Carillon Tower Advisers Inc. now owns 246,050 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $26,342,000 after purchasing an additional 190,050 shares during the period. Schroder Investment Management Group lifted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 94.3% in the 2nd quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 175,802 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $18,987,000 after purchasing an additional 85,321 shares during the period. Gradient Investments LLC lifted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 4.7% in the 2nd quarter. Gradient Investments LLC now owns 98,594 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $10,556,000 after purchasing an additional 4,393 shares during the period. Finally, Swiss National Bank lifted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 2.2% in the 2nd quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 667,441 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $71,456,000 after purchasing an additional 14,100 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 89.45% 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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Earnings History and Estimates for Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI)

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