Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) – SunTrust Banks upped their Q2 2019 earnings per share (EPS) estimates for Darden Restaurants in a note issued to investors on Thursday, September 20th. SunTrust Banks analyst J. Bartlett now expects that the restaurant operator will post earnings of $0.95 per share for the quarter, up from their prior forecast of $0.88. SunTrust Banks has a “Buy” rating and a $137.00 price objective on the stock. SunTrust Banks also issued estimates for Darden Restaurants’ Q3 2019 earnings at $1.80 EPS, Q4 2019 earnings at $1.65 EPS, FY2019 earnings at $5.75 EPS, Q1 2020 earnings at $1.43 EPS, Q2 2020 earnings at $1.05 EPS, Q3 2020 earnings at $1.96 EPS, Q4 2020 earnings at $2.00 EPS and FY2020 earnings at $6.45 EPS.
A number of other brokerages have also recently issued reports on DRI. Robert W. Baird cut shares of Darden Restaurants from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, September 10th. Argus increased their price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants to $240.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, September 13th. Morgan Stanley increased their price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants from $103.00 to $110.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Thursday, September 13th. Goldman Sachs Group raised shares of Darden Restaurants from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their target price for the stock from $106.00 to $130.00 in a report on Tuesday, September 11th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Maxim Group reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $112.00 target price on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Thursday. Ten analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and sixteen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $120.13.
Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, September 20th. The restaurant operator reported $1.34 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.24 by $0.10. Darden Restaurants had a net margin of 7.84% and a return on equity of 30.32%. The company had revenue of $2.06 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.03 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.99 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 6.5% on a year-over-year basis.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, November 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, October 10th will be issued a dividend of $0.75 per share. This represents a $3.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.66%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, October 9th. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio is currently 39.29%.
In other Darden Restaurants news, SVP Douglas J. Milanes sold 2,186 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $111.06, for a total transaction of $242,777.16. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 792 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $87,959.52. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Director William S. Simon sold 2,418 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, July 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $112.09, for a total transaction of $271,033.62. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 12,666 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,419,731.94. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 164,870 shares of company stock worth $17,727,998. Insiders own 0.65% of the company’s stock.
Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Trilogy Capital Inc. bought a new position in shares of Darden Restaurants in the 1st quarter valued at about $140,000. Moneta Group Investment Advisors LLC boosted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 92.9% in the 2nd quarter. Moneta Group Investment Advisors LLC now owns 1,640 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $176,000 after purchasing an additional 790 shares during the last quarter. TLP Group LLC boosted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 761.3% in the 1st quarter. TLP Group LLC now owns 2,093 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $178,000 after purchasing an additional 1,850 shares during the last quarter. Ostrum Asset Management bought a new position in shares of Darden Restaurants in the 1st quarter valued at about $180,000. Finally, Doyle Wealth Management bought a new position in shares of Darden Restaurants in the 2nd quarter valued at about $202,000. 89.45% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
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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