Zacks: Brokerages Expect Darden Restaurants, Inc. (DRI) Will Announce Quarterly Sales of $1.93 Billion

Brokerages expect that Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) will report sales of $1.93 billion for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks reports. Seven analysts have issued estimates for Darden Restaurants’ earnings, with the lowest sales estimate coming in at $1.90 billion and the highest estimate coming in at $1.95 billion. Darden Restaurants reported sales of $1.71 billion during the same quarter last year, which indicates a positive year-over-year growth rate of 12.9%. The company is expected to report its next quarterly earnings results before the market opens on Tuesday, September 26th.

On average, analysts expect that Darden Restaurants will report full-year sales of $1.93 billion for the current fiscal year, with estimates ranging from $7.96 billion to $8.07 billion. For the next year, analysts anticipate that the company will post sales of $8.36 billion per share, with estimates ranging from $8.22 billion to $8.46 billion. Zacks Investment Research’s sales averages are a mean average based on a survey of sell-side research firms that cover Darden Restaurants.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, June 27th. The restaurant operator reported $1.18 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.15 by $0.03. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 26.18% and a net margin of 6.68%. The business had revenue of $1.94 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.86 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $1.10 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 8.1% compared to the same quarter last year.

DRI has been the topic of a number of research reports. Wells Fargo & Company reissued a “market perform” rating on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Tuesday, March 28th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Darden Restaurants from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, March 28th. Robert W. Baird reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $80.00 target price on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Tuesday, March 28th. BTIG Research lowered shares of Darden Restaurants from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Wednesday, March 29th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada lifted their price target on shares of Darden Restaurants from $80.00 to $86.00 and gave the company a “sector perform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, March 29th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eighteen have issued a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $84.78.

Shares of Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) traded down 0.99% during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $88.68. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,142,238 shares. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $90.28 and its 200 day moving average price is $81.99. Darden Restaurants has a one year low of $59.50 and a one year high of $95.22. The firm has a market cap of $11.09 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.32 and a beta of 0.28.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, August 1st. Investors of record on Monday, July 10th will be paid a dividend of $0.63 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, July 6th. This represents a $2.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.84%. This is an increase from Darden Restaurants’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.56. Darden Restaurants’s payout ratio is presently 66.14%.

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In related news, insider Eugene I. Lee, Jr. sold 93,125 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, June 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $91.58, for a total transaction of $8,528,387.50. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 165,062 shares in the company, valued at $15,116,377.96. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Insiders own 0.68% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Wedbush Securities Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 0.4% in the first quarter. Wedbush Securities Inc. now owns 3,180 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $266,000 after buying an additional 13 shares during the period. Wetherby Asset Management Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 0.5% in the first quarter. Wetherby Asset Management Inc. now owns 4,798 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $401,000 after buying an additional 26 shares during the period. HighPoint Advisor Group LLC boosted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 0.4% in the fourth quarter. HighPoint Advisor Group LLC now owns 6,970 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $522,000 after buying an additional 27 shares during the period. Farmers & Merchants Trust Co of Chambersburg PA boosted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 0.3% in the second quarter. Farmers & Merchants Trust Co of Chambersburg PA now owns 9,630 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $871,000 after buying an additional 30 shares during the period. Finally, ARP Americas LLC boosted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 1.1% in the first quarter. ARP Americas LLC now owns 5,473 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $458,000 after buying an additional 60 shares during the period. 96.55% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Darden Restaurants Company Profile

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

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