Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) Receives New Coverage from Analysts at Wells Fargo & Company

Analysts at Wells Fargo & Company started coverage on shares of Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRIGet Rating) in a note issued to investors on Monday, The Fly reports. The brokerage set an “equal weight” rating on the restaurant operator’s stock.

Other equities research analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. Wedbush upgraded shares of Darden Restaurants from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating and increased their target price for the stock from $134.00 to $160.00 in a research report on Wednesday, December 14th. Robert W. Baird downgraded Darden Restaurants from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and boosted their target price for the stock from $134.00 to $150.00 in a report on Tuesday, November 29th. Cowen increased their price target on Darden Restaurants from $140.00 to $155.00 in a research report on Wednesday, December 7th. KeyCorp lifted their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $150.00 to $160.00 in a research report on Friday, December 9th. Finally, Morgan Stanley increased their target price on Darden Restaurants from $148.00 to $168.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 18th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nineteen have given a buy rating to the company. According to MarketBeat, the stock presently has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average price target of $151.91.

Darden Restaurants Trading Up 0.5 %

Shares of DRI stock opened at $148.10 on Monday. The firm has a fifty day moving average of $144.29 and a 200-day moving average of $134.35. The stock has a market cap of $18.02 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.43, a P/E/G ratio of 1.92 and a beta of 1.21. Darden Restaurants has a 52-week low of $110.96 and a 52-week high of $152.08. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.44, a quick ratio of 0.31 and a current ratio of 0.47.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRIGet Rating) last issued its earnings results on Friday, December 16th. The restaurant operator reported $1.52 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.41 by $0.11. The business had revenue of $2.49 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.43 billion. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 42.51% and a net margin of 9.10%. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Darden Restaurants will post 7.8 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Insider Activity at Darden Restaurants

In other Darden Restaurants news, insider Daniel J. Kiernan sold 10,290 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, October 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $140.53, for a total value of $1,446,053.70. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 16,043 shares in the company, valued at $2,254,522.79. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. In other news, SVP Richard L. Renninger sold 5,000 shares of Darden Restaurants stock in a transaction dated Friday, January 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $147.99, for a total transaction of $739,950.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 22,368 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,310,240.32. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider Daniel J. Kiernan sold 10,290 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, October 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $140.53, for a total value of $1,446,053.70. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 16,043 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,254,522.79. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 23,975 shares of company stock worth $3,439,234. 0.93% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Institutional Inflows and Outflows

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in DRI. PSI Advisors LLC lifted its position in Darden Restaurants by 571.4% in the 2nd quarter. PSI Advisors LLC now owns 235 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $27,000 after acquiring an additional 200 shares in the last quarter. Clear Perspectives Financial Planning LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Darden Restaurants in the 3rd quarter valued at about $28,000. Heritage Wealth Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Darden Restaurants in the second quarter valued at about $31,000. Guardian Wealth Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Darden Restaurants during the third quarter worth about $31,000. Finally, Selective Wealth Management Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 618.2% during the second quarter. Selective Wealth Management Inc. now owns 316 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $36,000 after buying an additional 272 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 89.23% of the company’s stock.

About Darden Restaurants

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Darden Restaurants, Inc is a full-service restaurant company, which engages in the provision of restaurant services. It operates through the following segments: Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Fine Dining, and Other Business. The Olive Garden segment is the largest full-service dining Italian restaurant operator.

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