Darden Restaurants (DRI) Upgraded to “Outperform” by Sanford C. Bernstein

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) was upgraded by investment analysts at Sanford C. Bernstein from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a report released on Thursday, The Fly reports.

A number of other equities research analysts have also weighed in on the stock. Raymond James raised shares of Darden Restaurants to a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, April 2nd. Wells Fargo reaffirmed a “market perform” rating and set a $99.00 target price (up previously from $92.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Tuesday, January 9th. Barclays reaffirmed an “overweight” rating and set a $116.00 target price (up previously from $108.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Tuesday, January 16th. Argus raised shares of Darden Restaurants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their target price for the company from $95.67 to $108.00 in a research note on Thursday, December 21st. Finally, Stephens raised shares of Darden Restaurants from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and lifted their target price for the company from $95.00 to $105.00 in a research note on Monday, March 26th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have assigned a hold rating and fifteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $98.43.

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Shares of DRI remained flat at $$89.76 during trading hours on Thursday. 843,946 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,584,830. The company has a market cap of $11,046.39, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.33, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.72 and a beta of 0.23. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.44, a current ratio of 0.39 and a quick ratio of 0.25. Darden Restaurants has a 52-week low of $76.27 and a 52-week high of $100.11.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, March 22nd. The restaurant operator reported $1.71 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.64 by $0.07. The firm had revenue of $2.13 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.15 billion. Darden Restaurants had a net margin of 6.92% and a return on equity of 28.12%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 13.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $1.32 EPS. sell-side analysts expect that Darden Restaurants will post 4.77 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB raised its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 15.9% in the fourth quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB now owns 11,723 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $1,126,000 after buying an additional 1,609 shares during the last quarter. BRITISH COLUMBIA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT Corp raised its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 16.7% in the fourth quarter. BRITISH COLUMBIA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT Corp now owns 64,256 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $6,170,000 after buying an additional 9,198 shares during the last quarter. OLD Mutual Customised Solutions Proprietary Ltd. raised its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 48.0% in the fourth quarter. OLD Mutual Customised Solutions Proprietary Ltd. now owns 7,400 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $711,000 after buying an additional 2,400 shares during the last quarter. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC purchased a new position in Darden Restaurants in the fourth quarter worth about $3,674,000. Finally, Element Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in Darden Restaurants in the fourth quarter worth about $9,104,000. 90.51% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About Darden Restaurants

Darden Restaurants, Inc, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates full-service restaurants in the United States and Canada. As of June 27, 2017, it owned and operated approximately 1,700 restaurants under the Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen, Yard House, The Capital Grille, Seasons 52, Bahama Breeze, and Eddie V's brands.

The Fly

Analyst Recommendations for Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI)

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