ValuEngine lowered shares of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report published on Thursday.

A number of other research analysts also recently weighed in on DRI. Canaccord Genuity reiterated a buy rating and issued a $102.00 price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Friday, June 9th. Robert W. Baird reiterated a neutral rating and issued a $90.00 price objective (up previously from $85.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Monday, June 19th. Maxim Group reiterated a hold rating and issued a $90.00 price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Wednesday, June 21st. Morgan Stanley reiterated an equal weight rating and issued a $86.00 price objective (up previously from $83.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Thursday, June 22nd. Finally, Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. upped their price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Monday, June 26th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have issued a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company. Darden Restaurants has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $87.82.

Shares of Darden Restaurants (NYSE DRI) opened at 80.83 on Thursday. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $81.69 and a 200-day moving average price of $85.19. Darden Restaurants has a 52 week low of $60.97 and a 52 week high of $95.22. The stock has a market cap of $10.00 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.93 and a beta of 0.24.

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

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The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 1st. Investors of record on Tuesday, October 10th will be paid a dividend of $0.63 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, October 6th. This represents a $2.52 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.12%. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio is presently 65.12%.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. State of Tennessee Treasury Department grew its stake in Darden Restaurants by 162.3% during the 2nd quarter. State of Tennessee Treasury Department now owns 121,896 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $11,025,000 after acquiring an additional 75,421 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. grew its stake in Darden Restaurants by 4,601.4% during the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 11,464,253 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $959,215,000 after acquiring an additional 11,220,403 shares in the last quarter. Wedbush Securities Inc. grew its stake in Darden Restaurants by 0.5% during the 2nd quarter. Wedbush Securities Inc. now owns 3,195 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $289,000 after acquiring an additional 15 shares in the last quarter. Chicago Equity Partners LLC grew its stake in Darden Restaurants by 589.5% during the 2nd quarter. Chicago Equity Partners LLC now owns 41,230 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $3,729,000 after acquiring an additional 35,250 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. grew its stake in Darden Restaurants by 3.6% during the 1st quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 14,211,162 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $1,189,048,000 after acquiring an additional 487,366 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).

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Analyst Recommendations for Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI)

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