Darden Restaurants Inc. (DRI) Shares Gap Up After Strong Earnings
Darden Restaurants Inc. (NYSE:DRI) shares gapped up prior to trading on Tuesday after the company announced better than expected quarterly earnings. The stock had previously closed at $61.33, but opened at $61.36. Darden Restaurants shares last traded at $61.83, with a volume of 4,668,681 shares.
The restaurant operator reported $0.88 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.82 by $0.06. Darden Restaurants had a net margin of 5.41% and a return on equity of 21.95%. The firm had revenue of $1.71 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.72 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.68 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 1.6% compared to the same quarter last year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 1st. Shareholders of record on Monday, October 10th will be given a dividend of $0.56 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, October 5th. This represents a $2.24 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.63%. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio is currently 76.98%.
Several equities analysts have commented on the stock. Stifel Nicolaus dropped their target price on shares of Darden Restaurants from $53.00 to $50.00 and set a “sell” rating on the stock in a research report on Monday. RBC Capital Markets reissued a “sector perform” rating and set a $70.00 target price on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Friday, September 30th. Wells Fargo & Co. reissued a “market perform” rating and set a $68.00 target price on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Wednesday, September 28th. Morgan Stanley reissued a “hold” rating and set a $67.00 target price on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Tuesday, September 27th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Darden Restaurants from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 27th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have assigned a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $70.63.
In other Darden Restaurants news, Director James P. Fogarty purchased 3,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, July 7th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $61.70 per share, with a total value of $185,100.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now directly owns 7,890 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $486,813. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. 0.69% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. BB&T Securities LLC acquired a new stake in Darden Restaurants during the first quarter valued at $2,002,000. Aviva PLC increased its stake in Darden Restaurants by 0.7% in the first quarter. Aviva PLC now owns 138,386 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $9,175,000 after buying an additional 1,025 shares in the last quarter. Huntington Asset Advisors Inc. acquired a new stake in Darden Restaurants during the first quarter valued at $484,000. M&T Bank Corp increased its stake in Darden Restaurants by 6.3% in the first quarter. M&T Bank Corp now owns 236,846 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $15,703,000 after buying an additional 14,105 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Menta Capital LLC acquired a new stake in Darden Restaurants during the first quarter valued at $537,000. 94.57% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
The firm has a market capitalization of $7.79 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.30 and a beta of 0.41. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $61.98 and a 200-day moving average of $63.84.
About Darden Restaurants
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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