Darden Restaurants Inc. (NYSE:DRI) – Analysts at SunTrust Banks raised their Q2 2017 earnings estimates for Darden Restaurants in a note issued to investors on Tuesday. SunTrust Banks analyst J. Bartlett now expects that the brokerage will post earnings of $0.70 per share for the quarter, up from their previous forecast of $0.68. SunTrust Banks currently has a “Neutral” rating and a $67.00 price objective on the stock. SunTrust Banks also issued estimates for Darden Restaurants’ Q3 2017 earnings at $1.24 EPS, FY2017 earnings at $3.91 EPS, Q1 2018 earnings at $0.93 EPS, Q2 2018 earnings at $0.77 EPS, Q3 2018 earnings at $1.35 EPS, Q4 2018 earnings at $1.22 EPS and FY2018 earnings at $4.26 EPS.

Several other research firms have also commented on DRI. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Darden Restaurants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $76.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, June 15th. Tigress Financial upgraded shares of Darden Restaurants from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, June 23rd. Robert W. Baird reiterated a “neutral” rating and issued a $70.00 price target on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Tuesday, June 28th. Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated a “sector perform” rating and issued a $70.00 price target on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Tuesday, June 28th. Finally, Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. reiterated an “outperform” rating and issued a $70.00 price target on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Tuesday, June 28th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $70.26.

Earnings History and Estimates for Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI)

Shares of Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) opened at 61.56 on Wednesday. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $61.96 and its 200-day moving average price is $63.83. The firm has a market capitalization of $7.77 billion, a PE ratio of 21.24 and a beta of 0.41. Darden Restaurants has a 52-week low of $53.38 and a 52-week high of $68.68.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, October 4th. The restaurant operator reported $0.88 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.82 by $0.06. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 24.97% and a net margin of 5.73%. The firm had revenue of $1.71 billion for the quarter. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.68 earnings per share. Darden Restaurants’s revenue was up 1.6% on a year-over-year basis.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 1st. Investors of record on Monday, October 10th will be issued a dividend of $0.56 per share. This represents a $2.24 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.64%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, October 5th. Darden Restaurants’s payout ratio is 72.03%.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in DRI. Aperio Group LLC raised its stake in Darden Restaurants by 29.8% in the first quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 47,906 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $3,176,000 after buying an additional 10,988 shares during the last quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. raised its stake in Darden Restaurants by 26.0% in the first quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 182,051 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $12,070,000 after buying an additional 37,547 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Group LTD raised its stake in Darden Restaurants by 5.2% in the first quarter. BlackRock Group LTD now owns 1,233,733 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $81,798,000 after buying an additional 60,947 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. raised its stake in Darden Restaurants by 0.4% in the first quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 3,379,482 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $224,060,000 after buying an additional 14,628 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Tobam purchased a new stake in Darden Restaurants during the first quarter worth $990,000. 94.57% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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).

5 Day Chart for NYSE:DRI

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