Equities analysts predict that Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) will report sales of $2.15 billion for the current quarter, Zacks Investment Research reports. Nine analysts have issued estimates for Darden Restaurants’ earnings, with the lowest sales estimate coming in at $2.13 billion and the highest estimate coming in at $2.16 billion. Darden Restaurants posted sales of $1.88 billion in the same quarter last year, which suggests a positive year over year growth rate of 14.4%. The firm is expected to report its next earnings results on Monday, March 26th.
According to Zacks, analysts expect that Darden Restaurants will report full-year sales of $2.15 billion for the current fiscal year, with estimates ranging from $7.17 billion to $8.13 billion. For the next year, analysts forecast that the business will post sales of $8.44 billion per share, with estimates ranging from $8.10 billion to $8.59 billion. Zacks’ sales averages are a mean average based on a survey of research firms that that provide coverage for Darden Restaurants.
Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, December 19th. The restaurant operator reported $0.73 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.70 by $0.03. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 26.24% and a net margin of 6.46%. The business had revenue of $1.88 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.85 billion.
DRI has been the topic of a number of recent research reports. Zacks Investment Research raised Darden Restaurants from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, October 30th. Wells Fargo & Co reissued a “market perform” rating and set a $99.00 price target (up previously from $92.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Tuesday, January 9th. Longbow Research initiated coverage on Darden Restaurants in a research report on Friday, October 13th. They set a “neutral” rating on the stock. Argus raised Darden Restaurants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their price target for the stock from $95.67 to $108.00 in a research report on Thursday, December 21st. Finally, Maxim Group reissued a “buy” rating and set a $112.00 price target (up previously from $103.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Tuesday, January 9th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have assigned a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Darden Restaurants has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $96.22.
In other Darden Restaurants news, CFO Ricardo Cardenas sold 10,783 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, January 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $97.17, for a total value of $1,047,784.11. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 20,046 shares in the company, valued at $1,947,869.82. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, SVP Douglas J. Milanes sold 4,300 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, January 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $97.05, for a total value of $417,315.00. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 7,513 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $729,136.65. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 74,866 shares of company stock valued at $7,252,094. 0.63% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in DRI. M&R Capital Management Inc. purchased a new stake in Darden Restaurants in the second quarter valued at about $108,000. D.A. Davidson & CO. raised its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 1.7% in the second quarter. D.A. Davidson & CO. now owns 1,271 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $114,000 after purchasing an additional 21 shares during the last quarter. Moisand Fitzgerald Tamayo LLC purchased a new position in shares of Darden Restaurants in the third quarter worth about $115,000. Cerebellum GP LLC purchased a new position in shares of Darden Restaurants in the fourth quarter worth about $126,000. Finally, Grove Bank & Trust raised its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 155.6% in the third quarter. Grove Bank & Trust now owns 1,840 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $145,000 after purchasing an additional 1,120 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 90.49% of the company’s stock.
Darden Restaurants (DRI) opened at $94.22 on Tuesday. Darden Restaurants has a 12-month low of $71.68 and a 12-month high of $100.11. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.47, a quick ratio of 0.20 and a current ratio of 0.34. The stock has a market capitalization of $11,864.19, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.76, a PEG ratio of 1.86 and a beta of 0.16.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, February 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, January 10th were paid a $0.63 dividend. This represents a $2.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.67%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, January 9th. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 64.62%.
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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).
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