Darden Restaurants Inc. (DRI) Rating Increased to Hold at Zacks Investment Research
Darden Restaurants Inc. (NYSE:DRI) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Tuesday.
According to Zacks, “Most of Darden’s brands have been witnessing growth over the past few quarters on the back of sales initiatives like simplifying kitchen systems, menu innovation and technology-driven moves. Also, the company’s efforts to check costs are commendable. Backed by these initiatives, Darden’s fiscal fourth-quarter 2016 earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the seventh consecutive quarter. Meanwhile, estimates have been stable lately ahead of Darden’s first-quarter fiscal 2017 earnings release. However, Darden provided a weak guidance for fiscal 2017 earnings. Also, though the company posted positive comps across all brands in the fiscal fourth quarter, the figures compared unfavorably with the prior-quarter comps. Going forward, Darden’s rising labor costs and a non-franchised business model might dampen profits, while a soft consumer spending environment could pressurize comps.”
DRI has been the subject of several other research reports. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $64.00 price target (down previously from $66.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Saturday, July 2nd. Piper Jaffray Cos. reaffirmed an “overweight” rating and issued a $76.00 price target on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Thursday, August 25th. Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $70.00 target price on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Wednesday, September 7th. BMO Capital Markets reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $64.00 target price on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Thursday, September 1st. Finally, Tigress Financial raised Darden Restaurants from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, June 23rd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $70.83.
Shares of Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) opened at 61.14 on Tuesday. Darden Restaurants has a one year low of $53.38 and a one year high of $69.00. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $62.10 and a 200 day moving average price of $64.04. The firm has a market cap of $7.72 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.10 and a beta of 0.52.
In other Darden Restaurants news, Director James P. Fogarty bought 3,000 shares of Darden Restaurants stock in a transaction on Thursday, July 7th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $61.70 per share, for a total transaction of $185,100.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now owns 7,890 shares in the company, valued at approximately $486,813. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Company insiders own 0.69% of the company’s stock.
Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Chevy Chase Trust Holdings Inc. raised its position in Darden Restaurants by 4.3% in the first quarter. Chevy Chase Trust Holdings Inc. now owns 101,613 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $6,737,000 after buying an additional 4,214 shares in the last quarter. Fjarde AP Fonden Fourth Swedish National Pension Fund raised its position in Darden Restaurants by 13.5% in the first quarter. Fjarde AP Fonden Fourth Swedish National Pension Fund now owns 26,708 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $1,771,000 after buying an additional 3,178 shares in the last quarter. Commonwealth Equity Services Inc raised its position in Darden Restaurants by 22.3% in the first quarter. Commonwealth Equity Services Inc now owns 22,808 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $1,512,000 after buying an additional 4,156 shares in the last quarter. Aperio Group LLC raised its position in Darden Restaurants by 29.8% in the first quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 47,906 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $3,176,000 after buying an additional 10,988 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Virginia Retirement System acquired a new position in Darden Restaurants during the first quarter valued at $5,375,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 94.57% of the company’s stock.
Darden Restaurants Company Profile
Darden Restaurants, Inc is a full-service restaurant company. The Company owned and operated 1,536 restaurants through its subsidiaries in the United States and Canada, as of May 29, 2016. The Company’s segments include Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Fine Dining (which includes The Capital Grille, and Eddie V’s Prime Seafood and Wildfish Seafood Grille (Eddie V’s)) and Other Business (which includes Yard House, Seasons 52, Bahama Breeze, consumer-packaged goods and franchise revenues).
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