Ratings Don’t Lie: Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI)’s Is Reaching An Inflection Point; Maxim Group Downgrades It

November 28, 2016 - By Ellis Scott

Ratings Don't Lie:  Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI)'s Is Reaching An Inflection Point; Maxim Group Downgrades It

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) Downgrade

Maxim Group downgraded Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI)‘s stock to a Hold rating from Buy. The ratings change was issued in a a note today. The firm now has a $74 target price on the stock.

Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) Ratings Coverage

Out of 16 analysts covering Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI), 9 rate it a “Buy”, 2 “Sell”, while 5 “Hold”. This means 56% are positive. $80 is the highest target while $50 is the lowest. The $70.50 average target is -5.94% below today’s ($74.95) stock price. Darden Restaurants has been the topic of 29 analyst reports since August 25, 2015 according to StockzIntelligence Inc. The stock of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) has “Market Perform” rating given on Monday, October 12 by Raymond James. Piper Jaffray upgraded the stock to “Overweight” rating in Tuesday, May 17 report. The rating was maintained by RBC Capital Markets with “Sector Perform” on Monday, December 21. The rating was maintained by Maxim Group with “Buy” on Tuesday, February 16. The rating was upgraded by Tigress Financial on Friday, June 24 to “Buy”. Wells Fargo downgraded the stock to “Underperform” rating in Wednesday, July 13 report. The stock of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) earned “Neutral” rating by SunTrust on Thursday, October 8. The stock of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) has “Sell” rating given on Tuesday, July 26 by Stifel Nicolaus. Zacks downgraded the shares of DRI in a report on Tuesday, August 25 to “Strong-Buy” rating. The stock of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) earned “Buy” rating by BTIG Research on Wednesday, April 6.

The stock increased 0.62% or $0.46 during the last trading session, hitting $74.95. About 536 shares traded hands. Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) has risen 18.11% since April 25, 2016 and is uptrending. It has outperformed by 12.09% the S&P500.

Analysts await Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) to report earnings on December, 16. They expect $0.63 EPS, up 16.67% or $0.09 from last year’s $0.54 per share. DRI’s profit will be $78.00 million for 29.74 P/E if the $0.63 EPS becomes a reality. After $0.88 actual EPS reported by Darden Restaurants, Inc. for the previous quarter, Wall Street now forecasts -28.41% negative EPS growth.

Insitutional Activity: The institutional sentiment decreased to 0.91 in Q2 2016. Its down 0.18, from 1.09 in 2016Q1. The ratio turned negative, as 46 funds sold all Darden Restaurants, Inc. shares owned while 172 reduced positions. 56 funds bought stakes while 182 increased positions. They now own 115.09 million shares or 1.22% less from 116.51 million shares in 2016Q1.

Parallax Volatility Advisers L P holds 24,029 shares or 0% of its portfolio. The Guernsey-based Airain Ltd has invested 0.12% in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI). Franklin Street Advisors Nc reported 59,980 shares or 0.72% of all its holdings. Oakworth Cap accumulated 0.01% or 430 shares. Suntrust Banks last reported 0.03% of its portfolio in the stock. Sei Investments last reported 35,259 shares in the company. Pub Employees Retirement Association Of Colorado reported 28,795 shares or 0.02% of all its holdings. Twin Tree Management Limited Partnership has 4,098 shares for 0% of their US portfolio. Bancorp Of The Ozarks accumulated 0.11% or 4,705 shares. California Employees Retirement Sys has 0.03% invested in the company for 307,600 shares. Meiji Yasuda Life last reported 0.04% of its portfolio in the stock. The Texas-based Cullen Frost Bankers Incorporated has invested 0.01% in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI). Verition Fund Mgmt Ltd has 18,530 shares for 0.15% of their US portfolio. Commerce Fincl Bank accumulated 0.06% or 62,784 shares. Adage Capital Ptnrs Gru Limited Liability accumulated 0% or 19,859 shares.

Insider Transactions: Since July 7, 2016, the stock had 1 insider buy, and 1 insider sale for $2.12 million net activity. The insider FOGARTY JAMES P bought $185,100. $2.31 million worth of shares were sold by Kirgan Danielle L. on Monday, October 10.

Darden Restaurants, Inc. is a full-service restaurant company. The company has a market cap of $9.28 billion. The Firm owned and operated 1,536 restaurants through its subsidiaries in the United States and Canada, as of May 29, 2016. It has a 24.67 P/E ratio. The Company’s divisions include Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Fine Dining ) and Other Business (which includes Yard House, Seasons 52, Bahama Breeze, consumer-packaged goods and franchise revenues).

According to Zacks Investment Research, “Darden Restaurants, Inc. is the world’s largest casual dining restaurant company based on market share, sales and number of company-owned and operated restaurants. Darden through its subsidiaries, engages in the ownership and operation of casual dining restaurants in the United States and Canada.”

DRI Company Profile

Darden Restaurants, Inc., incorporated on March 30, 1995, is a full-service restaurant company. The Firm owned and operated 1,536 restaurants through its subsidiaries in the United States and Canada, as of May 29, 2016. The Company’s divisions 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). As of May 29, 2016, the Company also had 50 restaurants operated by independent third parties pursuant to area development and franchise agreements.

More recent Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) news were published by: Prnewswire.com which released: “Restaurants Stocks Under Scanner — Darden Restaurants, Dunkin’ Brands …” on November 28, 2016. Also Wsj.com published the news titled: “Room for Seconds at Darden Restaurants” on October 03, 2016. Forbes.com‘s news article titled: “Short Interest In Darden Restaurants Makes 12.7% Move” with publication date: November 11, 2016 was also an interesting one.

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