Wedbush Lowers Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) Price Target to $170.00

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRIFree Report) had its price target cut by Wedbush from $181.00 to $170.00 in a research report sent to investors on Tuesday, Benzinga reports. They currently have an outperform rating on the restaurant operator’s stock.

A number of other research analysts also recently weighed in on the company. Citigroup reduced their target price on Darden Restaurants from $192.00 to $191.00 and set a buy rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, June 5th. Guggenheim upped their target price on Darden Restaurants from $180.00 to $185.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, March 19th. BMO Capital Markets upped their target price on Darden Restaurants from $160.00 to $165.00 and gave the stock a market perform rating in a report on Thursday, March 7th. Truist Financial reiterated a buy rating and set a $190.00 target price on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Friday, March 22nd. Finally, TD Cowen restated a buy rating and issued a $190.00 price target on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Monday, April 22nd. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and sixteen have issued a buy rating to the company. According to data from MarketBeat, the company presently has a consensus rating of Moderate Buy and a consensus price target of $174.76.

Check Out Our Latest Research Report on Darden Restaurants

Darden Restaurants Stock Up 0.2 %

Shares of NYSE:DRI opened at $147.48 on Tuesday. Darden Restaurants has a 1 year low of $133.36 and a 1 year high of $176.84. The company has a market cap of $17.60 billion, a PE ratio of 17.29, a P/E/G ratio of 1.51 and a beta of 1.29. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.63, a current ratio of 0.39 and a quick ratio of 0.25. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $151.14 and its 200 day moving average is $159.85.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRIGet Free Report) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, March 21st. The restaurant operator reported $2.62 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.63 by ($0.01). Darden Restaurants had a net margin of 9.24% and a return on equity of 49.94%. The business had revenue of $2.97 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.02 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $2.34 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.8% on a year-over-year basis. Sell-side analysts anticipate that Darden Restaurants will post 8.85 EPS for the current year.

Darden Restaurants Dividend Announcement

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, May 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, April 10th were issued a dividend of $1.31 per share. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, April 9th. This represents a $5.24 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.55%. Darden Restaurants’s payout ratio is 61.43%.

Darden Restaurants declared that its board has authorized a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, March 21st that permits the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the restaurant operator to purchase up to 5% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

Insider Activity

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

Hedge Funds Weigh In On Darden Restaurants

Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC increased its stake in Darden Restaurants by 16.9% in the 3rd quarter. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC now owns 20,583 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $2,948,000 after buying an additional 2,981 shares in the last quarter. Pathstone Family Office LLC increased its stake in Darden Restaurants by 59.5% in the 3rd quarter. Pathstone Family Office LLC now owns 7,250 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $1,038,000 after buying an additional 2,705 shares in the last quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS increased its stake in Darden Restaurants by 15.2% in the 3rd quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS now owns 24,304 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $3,481,000 after buying an additional 3,214 shares in the last quarter. Blair William & Co. IL increased its stake in Darden Restaurants by 1.0% in the 3rd quarter. Blair William & Co. IL now owns 6,997 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $1,002,000 after buying an additional 71 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG increased its stake in Darden Restaurants by 7.7% in the 3rd quarter. Deutsche Bank AG now owns 329,247 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $47,155,000 after buying an additional 23,465 shares in 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.

Further Reading

Analyst Recommendations for Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI)

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