Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) Given Consensus Recommendation of “Moderate Buy” by Analysts

Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI – Get Rating) has been assigned a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” from the twenty-two research firms that are presently covering the stock, Marketbeat reports. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The average twelve-month target price among analysts that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $142.00.

A number of research firms recently weighed in on DRI. Bank of America began coverage on Darden Restaurants in a research note on Monday, June 27th. They set a “buy” rating and a $145.00 price target on the stock. Oppenheimer reduced their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $175.00 to $155.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, June 22nd. Barclays cut their price target on Darden Restaurants from $135.00 to $130.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a report on Friday, June 24th. Royal Bank of Canada lowered their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $151.00 to $143.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, June 24th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group decreased their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $175.00 to $152.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, June 24th.

Darden Restaurants Price Performance

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Shares of DRI opened at $117.09 on Friday. The business has a 50-day simple moving average of $119.49 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $130.72. Darden Restaurants has a 12-month low of $110.96 and a 12-month high of $164.28. The stock has a market cap of $14.61 billion, a PE ratio of 15.82, a PEG ratio of 1.53 and a beta of 1.31. The company has a quick ratio of 0.49, a current ratio of 0.64 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.41.

Darden Restaurants announced that its board has initiated a stock buyback program on Thursday, June 23rd that permits the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the restaurant operator to purchase up to 6.6% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are often a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

Darden Restaurants Increases Dividend

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, August 1st. Shareholders of record on Friday, July 8th will be issued a dividend of $1.21 per share. This is an increase from Darden Restaurants’s previous quarterly dividend of $1.10. This represents a $4.84 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.13%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, July 7th. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 65.41%.

Insiders Place Their Bets

In related news, Director Timothy J. Wilmott bought 10,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, June 28th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $120.00 per share, with a total value of $1,200,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 27,094 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,251,280. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. 0.95% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional Trading of Darden Restaurants

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Wetherby Asset Management Inc. boosted its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 1.3% in the fourth quarter. Wetherby Asset Management Inc. now owns 5,800 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $874,000 after purchasing an additional 74 shares during the period. Resources Investment Advisors LLC. boosted its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 5.7% during the fourth quarter. Resources Investment Advisors LLC. now owns 1,437 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $216,000 after acquiring an additional 78 shares during the period. Affinity Investment Advisors LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 0.7% during the first quarter. Affinity Investment Advisors LLC now owns 12,330 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $1,639,000 after acquiring an additional 81 shares during the period. Cetera Advisor Networks LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 2.6% during the first quarter. Cetera Advisor Networks LLC now owns 3,237 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $430,000 after acquiring an additional 83 shares during the period. Finally, Sage Private Wealth Group LLC lifted its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 31.9% in the fourth quarter. Sage Private Wealth Group LLC now owns 376 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $56,000 after purchasing an additional 91 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 90.71% of the company’s stock.

Darden Restaurants Company Profile

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Darden Restaurants, Inc, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates full-service restaurants in the United States and Canada. As of May 30, 2021, it owned and operated 1,834 restaurants, which included 875 under the Olive Garden, 533 under the LongHorn Steakhouse, 170 under the Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, 81 under the Yard House, 63 under The Capital Grille, 44 under the Seasons 52, 42 under the Bahama Breeze, and 26 under the Eddie V’s Prime Seafood brands.

See Also

Analyst Recommendations for Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI)

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