Research analysts at Stifel Nicolaus initiated coverage on shares of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) in a note issued to investors on Monday. The brokerage set a “buy” rating on the restaurant operator’s stock.

Other research analysts have also recently issued research reports about the company. J P Morgan Chase & Co reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and set a $93.00 target price (up previously from $82.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Wednesday, June 28th. Credit Suisse Group reduced their price target on Darden Restaurants from $85.00 to $82.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, September 27th. Canaccord Genuity reissued a “buy” rating and set a $102.00 price target on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Friday, June 9th. BMO Capital Markets raised their price target on Darden Restaurants from $85.00 to $87.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research note on Friday, June 30th. Finally, Morgan Stanley reissued an “equal weight” rating and set a $86.00 price target (up from $83.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Thursday, June 22nd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have assigned a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $85.09.

Shares of Darden Restaurants (DRI) traded up 0.50% on Monday, reaching $79.17. The company had a trading volume of 1,535,255 shares. Darden Restaurants has a 52 week low of $60.16 and a 52 week high of $95.22. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $82.69 and its 200 day moving average is $84.83. The firm has a market capitalization of $9.91 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.50 and a beta of 0.25.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, September 26th. The restaurant operator reported $0.99 EPS for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.99. The firm had revenue of $1.94 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.93 billion. Darden Restaurants had a net margin of 6.60% and a return on equity of 26.06%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 12.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.88 EPS. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Darden Restaurants will post $4.45 EPS for the current year.

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Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. grew its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 55.0% in the first quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 1,250,125 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $104,598,000 after purchasing an additional 443,669 shares during the last quarter. Sei Investments Co. increased its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 241.6% during the first quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 11,992 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $1,004,000 after purchasing an additional 8,481 shares in the last quarter. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC increased its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 5.0% during the first quarter. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC now owns 16,118 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $1,349,000 after purchasing an additional 774 shares in the last quarter. Mason Street Advisors LLC increased its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 1.9% during the first quarter. Mason Street Advisors LLC now owns 17,159 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $1,436,000 after purchasing an additional 322 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Pacer Advisors Inc. increased its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 44.3% during the first quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 3,379 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $283,000 after purchasing an additional 1,038 shares in the last quarter. 88.65% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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).

Analyst Recommendations for Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI)

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