Darden Restaurants Inc. (NYSE:DRI) was downgraded by Credit Suisse Group AG from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report issued on Tuesday. They presently have a $72.00 price target on the restaurant operator’s stock, down from their previous price target of $73.93. Credit Suisse Group AG’s price objective indicates a potential downside of 2.61% from the stock’s current price. The analysts noted that the move was a valuation call.

Several other equities analysts also recently weighed in on the stock. Raymond James Financial Inc. upgraded shares of Darden Restaurants from an “underperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 18th. Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. reiterated an “outperform” rating and issued a $70.00 price target on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Wednesday, September 7th. Canaccord Genuity started coverage on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Monday, August 22nd. They issued a “buy” rating and a $74.00 price target on the stock. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Darden Restaurants from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, September 12th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Cos. restated an “overweight” rating and issued a $76.00 price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Thursday, August 25th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have given a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Darden Restaurants has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $70.79.

Analyst Recommendations for Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI)

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) traded down 1.76% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $72.63. 243,870 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. Darden Restaurants has a one year low of $55.01 and a one year high of $74.99. The company’s 50-day moving average is $66.59 and its 200 day moving average is $64.26. The firm has a market capitalization of $8.94 billion, a P/E ratio of 23.45 and a beta of 0.23.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 4th. The restaurant operator reported $0.88 earnings per share 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 company had revenue of $1.71 billion for the quarter. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.68 EPS. Darden Restaurants’s quarterly revenue was up 1.6% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts predict that Darden Restaurants will post $3.93 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, November 1st. Investors of record on Monday, October 10th were paid a $0.56 dividend. This represents a $2.24 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.03%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, October 5th. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio is currently 72.03%.

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In other Darden Restaurants news, SVP Danielle L. Kirgan sold 8,780 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, October 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.47, for a total value of $548,486.60. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 15,989 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $998,832.83. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, SVP Danielle L. Kirgan sold 28,127 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, October 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.47, for a total value of $1,757,093.69. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 15,989 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $998,832.83. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.69% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of DRI. Bruderman Asset Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 0.4% in the second quarter. Bruderman Asset Management LLC now owns 3,387 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $215,000 after buying an additional 13 shares during the last quarter. Krilogy Financial LLC boosted its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 1.6% in the second quarter. Krilogy Financial LLC now owns 2,133 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $135,000 after buying an additional 33 shares during the period. Gateway Investment Advisers LLC boosted its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 0.4% in the third quarter. Gateway Investment Advisers LLC now owns 10,523 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $645,000 after buying an additional 44 shares during the period. Commonwealth Bank of Australia boosted its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 0.3% in the second quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia now owns 14,931 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $947,000 after buying an additional 45 shares during the period. Finally, Choate Investment Advisors boosted its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 0.3% in the third quarter. Choate Investment Advisors now owns 13,381 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $821,000 after buying an additional 45 shares during the period. 88.85% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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