Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) Downgraded by Maxim Group

Maxim Group downgraded shares of Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Tuesday, BenzingaRatingsTable reports. The firm currently has $126.00 price target on the restaurant operator’s stock.

Other research analysts have also recently issued reports about the company. Loop Capital lowered their price objective on Caleres to $26.00 and set a hold rating for the company in a research report on Friday, March 22nd. UBS Group reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $7.80 price objective on shares of Deutsche Bank in a research report on Friday, April 26th. Wells Fargo & Co cut Dave & Buster’s Entertainment from an outperform rating to a market perform rating and set a $48.00 price objective for the company. in a research report on Tuesday, June 11th. Citigroup reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of Healthequity in a research report on Friday, June 28th. Finally, Bank of America set a $46.00 price objective on G-III Apparel Group and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Friday, March 22nd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and seventeen have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $130.39.

Shares of NYSE DRI opened at $124.07 on Tuesday. The business’s 50-day moving average is $120.88. The company has a current ratio of 0.61, a quick ratio of 0.46 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.39. Darden Restaurants has a 1-year low of $95.83 and a 1-year high of $125.99. The stock has a market cap of $15.03 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.32, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.90 and a beta of 0.32.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, June 20th. The restaurant operator reported $1.76 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.73 by $0.03. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 31.61% and a net margin of 8.38%. The company had revenue of $2.23 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.24 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $1.39 EPS. Darden Restaurants’s revenue was up 4.5% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts anticipate that Darden Restaurants will post 6.39 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, August 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, July 10th will be given a dividend of $0.88 per share. This represents a $3.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.84%. This is a boost from Darden Restaurants’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.75. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, July 9th. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 60.48%.

In other Darden Restaurants news, CFO Ricardo Cardenas sold 14,128 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $124.87, for a total transaction of $1,764,163.36. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 23,848 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,977,899.76. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, COO David C. George sold 69,779 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, June 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $123.25, for a total value of $8,600,261.75. Following the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 109,344 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $13,476,648. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.65% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of DRI. Norges Bank purchased a new position in shares of Darden Restaurants during the 4th quarter worth approximately $133,817,000. FMR LLC increased its stake in Darden Restaurants by 211.9% in the 4th quarter. FMR LLC now owns 1,547,369 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $154,520,000 after purchasing an additional 1,051,240 shares in the last quarter. American Century Companies Inc. increased its stake in Darden Restaurants by 274.3% in the 4th quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 1,349,208 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $134,732,000 after purchasing an additional 988,753 shares in the last quarter. Deutsche Bank AG increased its stake in Darden Restaurants by 27.2% in the 4th quarter. Deutsche Bank AG now owns 1,272,052 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $127,021,000 after purchasing an additional 272,161 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Nordea Investment Management AB increased its stake in Darden Restaurants by 54.8% in the 1st quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 622,263 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $75,586,000 after purchasing an additional 220,327 shares in the last quarter. 88.97% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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Analyst Recommendations for Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI)

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