Maxim Group Maintains a Buy Rating on Darden

By Carrie Williams

Maxim Group analyst Stephen Anderson maintained a Buy rating on Darden (NYSE: DRI) today and set a price target of $112. The company’s shares closed yesterday at $94.48.

Anderson observed:

“We maintain our Buy rating and $112 price target on Darden Restaurants (DRI) ahead of the release of F3Q18 (February) results on Thursday, March 22. Our F3Q18 EPS estimate is unchanged at $1.65 (vs. $1.64 consensus), though we raise our blended comp estimate to +2.9%, from +2.6% (vs. +2.5% consensus), as we model incremental traffic and off-premise gains. We believe multiple factors will contribute to sustained mid-teen EPS growth for at least the next 12-18 months. We still see room for potential near-term downside on food costs.”

According to, Anderson is a 5-star analyst with an average return of 9.8% and a 69.2% success rate. Anderson covers the Services sector, focusing on stocks such as Dave & Busters Entertainment, Good Times Restaurants Inc, and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen.

Currently, the analyst consensus on Darden is Moderate Buy and the average price target is $103.69, representing a 9.7% upside.

In a report issued on March 8, Oppenheimer also reiterated a Buy rating on the stock with a $105 price target.

The company has a one-year high of $100.11 and a one-year low of $74.31. Currently, Darden has an average volume of 1.56M.

Based on the recent corporate insider activity of 18 insiders, corporate insider sentiment is negative on the stock. Most recently, in January 2018, Eugene Lee, the President & CEO of DRI sold 59,783 shares for a total of $5,786,994.

TipRanks has tracked 36,000 company insiders and found that a few of them are better than others when it comes to timing their transactions. See which 3 stocks are most likely to make moves following their insider activities.

Darden Restaurants, Inc. 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 in the United States.