Darden Restaurants Inc. (NYSE:DRI) has earned a consensus recommendation of “Hold” from the twenty-six research firms that are presently covering the firm. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, fourteen have assigned a hold recommendation and ten have assigned a buy recommendation to the company. The average 12 month price objective among analysts that have covered the stock in the last year is $70.83.

A number of brokerages recently issued reports on DRI. Maxim Group cut Darden Restaurants from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $74.00 target price on the stock. in a report on Monday. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Darden Restaurants from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, November 25th. Credit Suisse Group AG downgraded Darden Restaurants from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and lowered their price target for the company from $73.93 to $72.00 in a report on Tuesday. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Piper Jaffray Cos. reiterated an “overweight” rating and set a $76.00 price target on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Thursday, August 25th. Finally, Robert W. Baird reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Thursday, September 8th.

In other news, SVP Danielle L. Kirgan sold 8,780 shares of the 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 transaction, the senior vice president now owns 15,989 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $998,832.83. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, SVP Danielle L. Kirgan sold 28,127 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, October 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $62.47, for a total value of $1,757,093.69. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 15,989 shares in the company, valued at approximately $998,832.83. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.69% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Boys Arnold & Co. Inc. bought a new position in Darden Restaurants during the second quarter worth $652,000. Gradient Investments LLC increased its position in Darden Restaurants by 10.5% in the second quarter. Gradient Investments LLC now owns 65,410 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $4,143,000 after buying an additional 6,229 shares during the period. Capstone Asset Management Co. increased its position in Darden Restaurants by 3.3% in the second quarter. Capstone Asset Management Co. now owns 8,248 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $522,000 after buying an additional 260 shares during the period. NN Investment Partners Holdings N.V. increased its position in Darden Restaurants by 837.0% in the second quarter. NN Investment Partners Holdings N.V. now owns 661,872 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $41,921,000 after buying an additional 591,232 shares during the period. Finally, Franklin Street Advisors Inc. NC increased its position in Darden Restaurants by 28.5% in the second quarter. Franklin Street Advisors Inc. NC now owns 59,980 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $3,799,000 after buying an additional 13,293 shares during the period. 88.85% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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Shares of Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) traded up 0.377% during trading on Wednesday, hitting $73.155. The stock had a trading volume of 876,192 shares. The company has a market cap of $9.00 billion, a P/E ratio of 23.621 and a beta of 0.23. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $66.59 and its 200-day moving average price is $64.26. Darden Restaurants has a one year low of $55.01 and a one year high of $74.99.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, October 4th. The restaurant operator reported $0.88 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.82 by $0.06. The business had revenue of $1.71 billion for the quarter. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 24.97% and a net margin of 5.73%. The business’s revenue was up 1.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.68 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Darden Restaurants will post $3.93 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, November 1st. Shareholders of record on Monday, October 10th were issued a dividend of $0.56 per share. This represents a $2.24 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.07%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, October 5th. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio is 72.03%.

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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