Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) Expected to Post Quarterly Sales of $2.32 Billion

Analysts expect that Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) will announce sales of $2.32 billion for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks Investment Research reports. Eleven analysts have made estimates for Darden Restaurants’ earnings. The lowest sales estimate is $2.30 billion and the highest is $2.34 billion. Darden Restaurants reported sales of $2.25 billion during the same quarter last year, which would suggest a positive year-over-year growth rate of 3.1%. The firm is expected to report its next quarterly earnings results on Thursday, March 19th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Darden Restaurants will report full year sales of $9.02 billion for the current year, with estimates ranging from $8.99 billion to $9.05 billion. For the next fiscal year, analysts forecast that the firm will report sales of $9.26 billion, with estimates ranging from $9.17 billion to $9.31 billion. Zacks’ sales calculations are an average based on a survey of sell-side research firms that follow Darden Restaurants.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, December 19th. The restaurant operator reported $1.12 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.07 by $0.05. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 32.25% and a net margin of 7.23%. The firm had revenue of $2.06 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.06 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.92 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 4.2% compared to the same quarter last year.

Several research analysts recently issued reports on DRI shares. Argus restated a “hold” rating on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Friday, December 27th. Deutsche Bank cut their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $123.00 to $118.00 and set a “hold” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, December 20th. KeyCorp restated an “overweight” rating and set a $135.00 price objective (down from $140.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Monday, December 23rd. Wedbush restated a “hold” rating and set a $125.00 price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Wednesday, December 4th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co cut their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $116.00 to $115.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, December 20th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $127.62.

In other Darden Restaurants news, Director Charles M. Sonsteby purchased 1,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, December 31st. The stock was bought at an average cost of $112.26 per share, for a total transaction of $168,390.00. Also, SVP Douglas J. Milanes sold 791 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, January 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $113.32, for a total value of $89,636.12. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 6,002 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $680,146.64. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.47% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Capital International Ltd. CA purchased a new stake in shares of Darden Restaurants during the 4th quarter valued at $1,733,000. Capital International Inc. CA purchased a new stake in shares of Darden Restaurants during the 4th quarter valued at $387,000. Capital International Sarl purchased a new stake in shares of Darden Restaurants during the 4th quarter valued at $736,000. Capital International Investors purchased a new stake in shares of Darden Restaurants during the 4th quarter valued at $294,757,000. Finally, Capital Bank & Trust Co grew its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 57,556.1% during the 4th quarter. Capital Bank & Trust Co now owns 23,639 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $2,577,000 after buying an additional 23,598 shares during the period. 89.60% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Shares of Darden Restaurants stock traded down $1.22 during trading on Friday, hitting $120.49. 1,062,835 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,486,226. The company has a quick ratio of 0.21, a current ratio of 0.34 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.30. Darden Restaurants has a fifty-two week low of $106.75 and a fifty-two week high of $128.41. The stock has a market capitalization of $14.92 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.95, a P/E/G ratio of 2.06 and a beta of 0.33. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $116.07 and a 200 day moving average price of $116.53.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, February 3rd. Shareholders of record on Friday, January 10th were issued a $0.88 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, January 9th. This represents a $3.52 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.92%. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 60.48%.

About Darden Restaurants

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.

Further Reading: What does an equal weight rating mean?

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Darden Restaurants (DRI)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

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

Receive News & Ratings for Darden Restaurants Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Darden Restaurants and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.