Darden Restaurants, Inc. (DRI) Expected to Announce Quarterly Sales of $1.98 Billion

Brokerages expect Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) to post $1.98 billion in sales for the current quarter, Zacks Investment Research reports. Nine analysts have provided estimates for Darden Restaurants’ earnings. The highest sales estimate is $2.00 billion and the lowest is $1.96 billion. Darden Restaurants reported sales of $1.88 billion in the same quarter last year, which would suggest a positive year-over-year growth rate of 5.3%. The firm is scheduled to announce its next earnings results on Tuesday, December 18th.

On average, analysts expect that Darden Restaurants will report full year sales of $8.51 billion for the current year, with estimates ranging from $8.49 billion to $8.56 billion. For the next year, analysts expect that the firm will report sales of $9.07 billion, with estimates ranging from $8.89 billion to $9.20 billion. Zacks’ sales averages are an average based on a survey of sell-side research firms that that provide coverage for Darden Restaurants.

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

A number of equities analysts have commented on the company. Piper Jaffray Companies restated an “overweight” rating and issued a $120.00 target price on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Monday, July 23rd. Gordon Haskett assumed coverage on Darden Restaurants in a research note on Thursday. They issued an “underperform” rating and a $94.00 target price for the company. Robert W. Baird downgraded Darden Restaurants from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, September 10th. SunTrust Banks lifted their target price on Darden Restaurants to $137.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, September 21st. Finally, Morgan Stanley lifted their target price on Darden Restaurants from $103.00 to $110.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Thursday, September 13th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and sixteen have given a buy rating to the stock. Darden Restaurants currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $118.58.

In other news, COO David C. George sold 55,671 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, October 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $108.24, for a total transaction of $6,025,829.04. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 95,236 shares in the company, valued at $10,308,344.64. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, SVP Douglas J. Milanes sold 2,186 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $111.06, for a total value of $242,777.16. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 792 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $87,959.52. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 118,545 shares of company stock valued at $13,103,896. Insiders own 0.65% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of DRI. Commonwealth Bank of Australia raised its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 3.1% during the second quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia now owns 15,345 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $1,637,000 after purchasing an additional 459 shares in the last quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC raised its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 21.1% during the second quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 2,708 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $290,000 after purchasing an additional 471 shares in the last quarter. Atria Investments LLC raised its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 2.6% during the third quarter. Atria Investments LLC now owns 18,561 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $2,064,000 after purchasing an additional 473 shares in the last quarter. Catawba Capital Management VA raised its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 5.4% during the second quarter. Catawba Capital Management VA now owns 10,225 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $1,095,000 after purchasing an additional 520 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Tower Research Capital LLC TRC raised its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 29.7% during the second quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 2,335 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $250,000 after purchasing an additional 535 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 89.11% of the company’s stock.

Shares of DRI stock opened at $106.33 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.41, a current ratio of 0.41 and a quick ratio of 0.26. Darden Restaurants has a 52 week low of $79.18 and a 52 week high of $124.00. The company has a market capitalization of $13.61 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.11, a P/E/G ratio of 2.09 and a beta of 0.17.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, November 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, October 10th will be given a dividend of $0.75 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, October 9th. This represents a $3.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.82%. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio is presently 26.20%.

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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