Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed their hold rating on shares of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) in a research note published on Wednesday morning. The brokerage currently has a $82.00 target price on the restaurant operator’s stock, down from their previous target price of $90.00.

DRI has been the topic of a number of other reports. Zacks Investment Research cut Darden Restaurants from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Friday, June 23rd. ValuEngine upgraded Darden Restaurants from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Friday, September 1st. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. raised their target price on Darden Restaurants in a research report on Monday, June 26th. Robert W. Baird restated a neutral rating and set a $90.00 target price (up from $85.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Monday, June 19th. Finally, Maxim Group restated a hold rating and set a $90.00 target price on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Thursday, September 21st. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have issued a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $84.86.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) traded down 0.43% during trading on Wednesday, hitting $78.81. The stock had a trading volume of 990,591 shares. The company has a market cap of $9.87 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.41 and a beta of 0.27. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $82.69 and its 200-day moving average price is $84.83. Darden Restaurants has a 52-week low of $60.16 and a 52-week high of $95.22.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, September 26th. The restaurant operator reported $0.99 EPS for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.99. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 26.06% and a net margin of 6.60%. The firm had revenue of $1.94 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.93 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.88 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 12.9% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts predict that Darden Restaurants will post $4.45 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 1st. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, October 10th will be paid a $0.63 dividend. This represents a $2.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.15%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, October 6th. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 65.12%.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. D.A. Davidson & CO. raised its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 1.7% during the 2nd quarter. D.A. Davidson & CO. now owns 1,271 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $114,000 after buying an additional 21 shares during the period. M&R Capital Management Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Darden Restaurants during the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $108,000. Farmers & Merchants Investments Inc. raised its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 255.5% during the 2nd quarter. Farmers & Merchants Investments Inc. now owns 1,422 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $129,000 after buying an additional 1,022 shares during the period. Huntington National Bank raised its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 4.6% during the 2nd quarter. Huntington National Bank now owns 1,578 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $143,000 after buying an additional 70 shares during the period. Finally, Van ECK Associates Corp raised its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 4.6% during the 1st quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp now owns 1,625 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $136,000 after buying an additional 71 shares during the period. 88.65% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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).

Analyst Recommendations for Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI)

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