Media headlines about Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) have been trending somewhat positive recently, according to Accern. The research group identifies negative and positive press coverage by analyzing more than 20 million blog and news sources. Accern ranks coverage of publicly-traded companies on a scale of negative one to one, with scores nearest to one being the most favorable. Darden Restaurants earned a coverage optimism score of 0.22 on Accern’s scale. Accern also gave news headlines about the restaurant operator an impact score of 46.23701961296 out of 100, indicating that recent press coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an impact on the company’s share price in the next several days.

Here are some of the headlines that may have effected Accern Sentiment Analysis’s rankings:

Darden Restaurants (NYSE DRI) traded up $1.68 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $99.04. The stock had a trading volume of 1,306,160 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,199,052. Darden Restaurants has a 52 week low of $71.43 and a 52 week high of $100.11. The company has a quick ratio of 0.20, a current ratio of 0.34 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.47. The company has a market capitalization of $12,234.81, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.39, a PEG ratio of 1.92 and a beta of 0.20.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, December 19th. The restaurant operator reported $0.73 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.70 by $0.03. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 26.24% and a net margin of 6.46%. The company had revenue of $1.88 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.85 billion. research analysts expect that Darden Restaurants will post 4.76 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, February 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, January 10th will be issued a $0.63 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, January 9th. This represents a $2.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.54%. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio is presently 64.62%.

A number of equities research analysts have commented on the company. Royal Bank of Canada reduced their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $96.00 to $90.00 and set a “sector perform” rating for the company in a research note on Wednesday, September 27th. SunTrust Banks reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Thursday, December 21st. BMO Capital Markets set a $101.00 price objective on Darden Restaurants and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 19th. Jefferies Group reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $82.00 price objective (down previously from $90.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Wednesday, September 27th. Finally, Stephens reduced their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $95.00 to $80.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research note on Wednesday, September 27th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have assigned a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $96.22.

In related news, CFO Ricardo Cardenas sold 10,783 shares of Darden Restaurants stock in a transaction on Wednesday, January 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $97.17, for a total transaction of $1,047,784.11. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 20,046 shares in the company, valued at $1,947,869.82. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, insider Eugene I. Lee, Jr. sold 59,783 shares of Darden Restaurants stock in a transaction on Wednesday, January 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $96.80, for a total value of $5,786,994.40. Following the sale, the insider now owns 164,396 shares in the company, valued at $15,913,532.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 74,866 shares of company stock worth $7,252,094 in the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 0.63% of the company’s stock.

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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).

Insider Buying and Selling by Quarter for Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI)

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