Oppenheimer Holdings Weighs in on Darden Restaurants, Inc.’s FY2017 Earnings (DRI)

Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) – Equities research analysts at Oppenheimer Holdings lifted their FY2017 EPS estimates for shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note issued on Monday. Oppenheimer Holdings analyst B. Bittner now expects that the restaurant operator will earn $3.99 per share for the year, up from their previous estimate of $3.98. Oppenheimer Holdings also issued estimates for Darden Restaurants’ Q2 2018 earnings at $0.76 EPS, Q3 2018 earnings at $1.46 EPS, Q4 2018 earnings at $1.30 EPS, FY2018 earnings at $4.49 EPS and FY2019 earnings at $5.02 EPS.

Several other research analysts also recently weighed in on the stock. Canaccord Genuity reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $102.00 target price on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Friday, June 9th. Credit Suisse Group reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $74.00 target price on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Wednesday, March 29th. Morgan Stanley reissued an “equal weight” rating and issued a $86.00 target price (up from $83.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Thursday, June 22nd. Maxim Group lifted their target price on shares of Darden Restaurants from $80.00 to $87.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, March 30th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Darden Restaurants from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, June 23rd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have given a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $80.19.

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Shares of Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) opened at 92.69 on Tuesday. The company’s 50-day moving average is $88.75 and its 200-day moving average is $79.92. Darden Restaurants has a 12 month low of $59.50 and a 12 month high of $95.22. The firm has a market cap of $11.52 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.68 and a beta of 0.25. Darden Restaurants also was the target of unusually large options trading activity on Monday. Stock traders bought 11,628 call options on the company. This represents an increase of 937% compared to the typical daily volume of 1,121 call options.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, June 27th. The restaurant operator reported $1.18 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.15 by $0.03. Darden Restaurants had a net margin of 7.04% and a return on equity of 26.25%. The firm had revenue of $1.94 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.86 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $1.10 earnings per share. Darden Restaurants’s revenue was up 8.1% compared to the same quarter last year.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in Darden Restaurants by 4,601.4% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 11,464,253 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $959,215,000 after buying an additional 11,220,403 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC increased its stake in Darden Restaurants by 154.6% in the fourth quarter. FMR LLC now owns 3,186,814 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $231,745,000 after buying an additional 1,935,246 shares in the last quarter. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in Darden Restaurants during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $117,092,000. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its stake in Darden Restaurants by 38.3% in the first quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 3,229,308 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $270,196,000 after buying an additional 894,403 shares in the last quarter. Finally, American Century Companies Inc. increased its stake in Darden Restaurants by 42.3% in the first quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 2,076,378 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $173,731,000 after buying an additional 617,269 shares in the last quarter. 96.84% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

In other Darden Restaurants news, insider David C. George sold 84,283 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, April 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $83.13, for a total value of $7,006,445.79. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 78,010 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,484,971.30. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, insider Eugene I. Lee, Jr. sold 98,124 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $83.19, for a total transaction of $8,162,935.56. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 177,737 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $14,785,941.03. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.69% of the company’s stock.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, August 1st. Shareholders of record on Monday, July 10th will be given a $0.63 dividend. This represents a $2.52 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.72%. This is an increase from Darden Restaurants’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.56. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, July 6th. Darden Restaurants’s payout ratio is currently 57.14%.

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).

Earnings History and Estimates for Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI)

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