Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) Price Target Increased to $192.00 by Analysts at Citigroup

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRIGet Free Report) had its price target hoisted by equities researchers at Citigroup from $191.00 to $192.00 in a research note issued to investors on Friday, Benzinga reports. The firm presently has a “buy” rating on the restaurant operator’s stock. Citigroup’s price target would indicate a potential upside of 25.57% from the company’s previous close.

A number of other equities research analysts also recently weighed in on the company. Guggenheim raised their price target on Darden Restaurants from $180.00 to $185.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, March 19th. KeyCorp decreased their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $177.00 to $170.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, June 13th. Stephens reiterated an “equal weight” rating and issued a $165.00 price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Thursday. Evercore ISI decreased their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $170.00 to $165.00 and set an “in-line” rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, June 13th. Finally, Oppenheimer decreased their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $186.00 to $182.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, March 22nd. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and sixteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. According to MarketBeat, Darden Restaurants has an average rating of “Moderate Buy” and a consensus target price of $173.62.

Read Our Latest Stock Analysis on DRI

Darden Restaurants Stock Performance

Shares of Darden Restaurants stock traded down $1.39 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $152.90. The company had a trading volume of 325,499 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,181,846. Darden Restaurants has a one year low of $133.36 and a one year high of $176.84. The business has a fifty day simple moving average of $150.69 and a 200 day simple moving average of $159.69. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.63, a current ratio of 0.39 and a quick ratio of 0.25. The firm has a market cap of $18.25 billion, a PE ratio of 17.92, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.60 and a beta of 1.29.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRIGet Free Report) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, June 20th. The restaurant operator reported $2.65 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $2.61 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $3 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.97 billion. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 49.94% and a net margin of 9.24%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 8.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $2.58 earnings per share. On average, analysts anticipate that Darden Restaurants will post 8.85 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Darden Restaurants announced that its Board of Directors has approved a share repurchase program on Thursday, March 21st that authorizes the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the restaurant operator to purchase up to 5% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are generally an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

Insider Transactions at Darden Restaurants

In other news, SVP Matthew R. Broad sold 4,707 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, April 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $156.15, for a total value of $734,998.05. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 19,179 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,994,800.85. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. In related news, Director William S. Simon sold 1,219 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, April 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $158.21, for a total value of $192,857.99. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 6,281 shares in the company, valued at approximately $993,717.01. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, SVP Matthew R. Broad sold 4,707 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, April 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $156.15, for a total transaction of $734,998.05. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 19,179 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,994,800.85. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 13,599 shares of company stock valued at $2,197,891 in the last ninety days. 0.85% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge Funds Weigh In On Darden Restaurants

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. EverSource Wealth Advisors LLC raised its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 34.8% in the 1st quarter. EverSource Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 279 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $43,000 after acquiring an additional 72 shares during the last quarter. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale increased its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 17.1% in the 1st quarter. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale now owns 327,611 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $54,427,000 after purchasing an additional 47,915 shares in the last quarter. Boston Partners increased its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 4.2% in the 1st quarter. Boston Partners now owns 846,994 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $141,553,000 after purchasing an additional 34,174 shares in the last quarter. Cetera Advisors LLC increased its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 127.2% in the 1st quarter. Cetera Advisors LLC now owns 14,261 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $2,384,000 after purchasing an additional 7,983 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Cetera Investment Advisers increased its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 395.9% in the 1st quarter. Cetera Investment Advisers now owns 37,563 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $6,279,000 after purchasing an additional 29,989 shares in the last quarter. 93.64% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Darden Restaurants

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Darden Restaurants, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, owns and operates full-service restaurants in the United States and Canada. It operates under Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen, Yard House, The Capital Grille, Seasons 52, Bahama Breeze, Eddie V's Prime Seafood, and Capital Burger brand names.

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