Credit Suisse Group AG restated their buy rating on shares of Darden Restaurants Inc. (NYSE:DRI) in a research report sent to investors on Wednesday morning. The firm currently has a $69.00 target price on the restaurant operator’s stock.

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently commented on DRI. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Darden Restaurants from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $76.00 price target on the stock in a report on Wednesday, June 15th. Tigress Financial raised shares of Darden Restaurants from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a report on Thursday, June 23rd. Wells Fargo & Co. reaffirmed an outperform rating and issued a $79.00 price target (up previously from $74.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Monday, June 27th. Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. reaffirmed an outperform rating and issued a $70.00 price target on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Tuesday, June 28th. Finally, Robert W. Baird reaffirmed a neutral rating and issued a $70.00 price target on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Tuesday, June 28th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the company. Darden Restaurants currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $69.89.

Analyst Recommendations for Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI)

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) traded down 0.4622% during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $61.2755. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 599,955 shares. The company has a market cap of $7.73 billion, a PE ratio of 21.1441 and a beta of 0.41. Darden Restaurants has a 12 month low of $53.38 and a 12 month high of $68.68. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $61.96 and a 200 day moving average price of $63.83.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, October 4th. 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 5.73% and a return on equity of 24.97%. The firm had revenue of $1.71 billion for the quarter. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.68 EPS. Darden Restaurants’s quarterly revenue was up 1.6% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts expect that Darden Restaurants will post $3.87 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 1st. Shareholders of record on Monday, October 10th will be given a $0.56 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, October 5th. This represents a $2.24 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.64%. Darden Restaurants’s payout ratio is presently 72.03%.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. BB&T Securities LLC acquired a new position in Darden Restaurants during the first quarter valued at $2,002,000. Aviva PLC increased its stake in shares of 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 during the last quarter. Huntington Asset Advisors Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Darden Restaurants during the first quarter valued at approximately $484,000. M&T Bank Corp increased its stake in shares of 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 during the last quarter. Finally, Menta Capital LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Darden Restaurants during the first quarter valued at approximately $537,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds 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).

5 Day Chart for NYSE:DRI

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