Q3 2019 EPS Estimates for Darden Restaurants, Inc. Boosted by Analyst (DRI)

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Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) – Stock analysts at Piper Jaffray Companies boosted their Q3 2019 earnings per share estimates for Darden Restaurants in a note issued to investors on Thursday, September 20th, according to Zacks Investment Research. Piper Jaffray Companies analyst N. Regan now expects that the restaurant operator will earn $1.75 per share for the quarter, up from their previous estimate of $1.73. Piper Jaffray Companies has a “Overweight” rating and a $120.00 price objective on the stock. Piper Jaffray Companies also issued estimates for Darden Restaurants’ FY2019 earnings at $5.63 EPS, Q1 2020 earnings at $1.44 EPS, Q2 2020 earnings at $0.97 EPS, Q3 2020 earnings at $1.88 EPS, Q4 2020 earnings at $2.02 EPS, FY2020 earnings at $6.30 EPS and FY2021 earnings at $6.65 EPS.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last released its earnings results on Thursday, September 20th. The restaurant operator reported $1.34 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.24 by $0.10. The business had revenue of $2.06 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.03 billion. Darden Restaurants had a net margin of 7.84% and a return on equity of 30.32%. Darden Restaurants’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.99 earnings per share.

Several other brokerages have also weighed in on DRI. Canaccord Genuity upped their price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants from $115.00 to $120.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, June 22nd. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Darden Restaurants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, June 22nd. Stephens boosted their target price on shares of Darden Restaurants from $105.00 to $125.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday, June 22nd. Argus boosted their target price on shares of Darden Restaurants to $240.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, September 13th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Darden Restaurants from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, September 24th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and sixteen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Darden Restaurants has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $119.65.

DRI stock traded up $2.71 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $106.76. The stock had a trading volume of 1,669,483 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,525,153. The firm has a market cap of $13.74 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.20, a PEG ratio of 2.11 and a beta of 0.17. The company has a quick ratio of 0.26, a current ratio of 0.41 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.41. Darden Restaurants has a 1-year low of $78.83 and a 1-year high of $124.00.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, November 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, October 10th will be given a $0.75 dividend. This represents a $3.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.81%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, October 9th. Darden Restaurants’s payout ratio is 26.20%.

In other Darden Restaurants news, COO David C. George sold 55,671 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, October 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $108.24, for a total value of $6,025,829.04. Following the completion of the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 95,236 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $10,308,344.64. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, SVP Douglas J. Milanes sold 2,186 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $111.06, for a total transaction of $242,777.16. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 792 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $87,959.52. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 118,545 shares of company stock valued at $13,103,896 over the last ninety days. 0.65% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of DRI. Millennium Management LLC grew its position in Darden Restaurants by 290.8% in the 2nd quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 1,287,465 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $137,836,000 after purchasing an additional 958,040 shares in the last quarter. Morgan Stanley grew its position in Darden Restaurants by 100.8% in the 2nd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 1,520,183 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $162,751,000 after purchasing an additional 763,239 shares in the last quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC grew its position in Darden Restaurants by 608.9% in the 2nd quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC now owns 699,834 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $74,923,000 after purchasing an additional 601,115 shares in the last quarter. Lord Abbett & CO. LLC bought a new stake in Darden Restaurants in the 1st quarter worth about $43,827,000. Finally, Renaissance Technologies LLC grew its position in Darden Restaurants by 845.5% in the 2nd quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 539,900 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $57,802,000 after purchasing an additional 482,800 shares in the last quarter. 89.50% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Darden Restaurants Company Profile

Darden Restaurants, Inc, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates full-service restaurants in the United States and Canada. As of May 27, 2018, it owned and operated approximately 1,746 restaurants under the Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen, Yard House, The Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52, and Eddie V's brands.

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

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