Darden Restaurants (DRI) Updates FY 2019 Earnings Guidance

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Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) updated its FY 2019 earnings guidance on Tuesday. The company provided earnings per share guidance of $5.60-5.70 for the period, compared to the Thomson Reuters consensus earnings per share estimate of $5.65. Darden Restaurants also updated its FY19 guidance to $5.60-5.70 EPS.

A number of brokerages have weighed in on DRI. Robert W. Baird cut Darden Restaurants from an outperform rating to a neutral rating in a research report on Monday, September 10th. Morgan Stanley upped their price target on Darden Restaurants from $103.00 to $110.00 and gave the company an equal weight rating in a research report on Thursday, September 13th. Argus upped their price target on Darden Restaurants to $240.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, September 13th. Goldman Sachs Group upgraded Darden Restaurants from a neutral rating to a buy rating and upped their price target for the company from $106.00 to $130.00 in a research report on Tuesday, September 11th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Maxim Group reiterated a hold rating and issued a $112.00 price target on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Thursday, September 20th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and twenty have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $119.84.

Shares of DRI opened at $103.85 on Wednesday. The company has a current ratio of 0.41, a quick ratio of 0.26 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.41. Darden Restaurants has a 12-month low of $82.38 and a 12-month high of $124.00. The firm has a market cap of $12.27 billion, a PE ratio of 21.59, a PEG ratio of 1.88 and a beta of 0.17.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, December 18th. The restaurant operator reported $0.92 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.91 by $0.01. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 30.32% and a net margin of 7.84%. The business had revenue of $1.97 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.98 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.73 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.9% compared to the same quarter last year. Research analysts anticipate that Darden Restaurants will post 5.64 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 1st. Shareholders of record on Thursday, January 10th will be paid a $0.75 dividend. This represents a $3.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.89%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, January 9th. Darden Restaurants’s payout ratio is 26.20%.

In other Darden Restaurants news, COO David C. George sold 55,671 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, October 4th. The stock was 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 in the company, valued at $10,308,344.64. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, insider Eugene I. Lee, Jr. sold 60,688 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $112.63, for a total value of $6,835,289.44. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 147,561 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $16,619,795.43. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.65% of the company’s stock.

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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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