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Darden Restaurants (DRI) Outpaces Stock Market Gains: What You Should Know

Zacks Equity Research

In the latest trading session, Darden Restaurants (DRI) closed at $115.66, marking a +0.86% move from the previous day. This change outpaced the S&P 500's 0.75% gain on the day. Meanwhile, the Dow gained 0.69%, and the Nasdaq, a tech-heavy index, added 1.32%.

Coming into today, shares of the owner of Olive Garden and other chain restaurants had gained 3.86% in the past month. In that same time, the Retail-Wholesale sector gained 0.59%, while the S&P 500 gained 3.42%.

DRI will be looking to display strength as it nears its next earnings release. On that day, DRI is projected to report earnings of $1.07 per share, which would represent year-over-year growth of 16.3%. Meanwhile, our latest consensus estimate is calling for revenue of $2.06 billion, up 4.29% from the prior-year quarter.

DRI's full-year Zacks Consensus Estimates are calling for earnings of $6.38 per share and revenue of $9.03 billion. These results would represent year-over-year changes of +9.62% and +6.08%, respectively.

Investors might also notice recent changes to analyst estimates for DRI. These revisions typically reflect the latest short-term business trends, which can change frequently. With this in mind, we can consider positive estimate revisions a sign of optimism about the company's business outlook.

Our research shows that these estimate changes are directly correlated with near-term stock prices. We developed the Zacks Rank to capitalize on this phenomenon. Our system takes these estimate changes into account and delivers a clear, actionable rating model.

The Zacks Rank system, which ranges from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell), has an impressive outside-audited track record of outperformance, with #1 stocks generating an average annual return of +25% since 1988. Within the past 30 days, our consensus EPS projection has moved 0.01% lower. DRI is holding a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold) right now.

In terms of valuation, DRI is currently trading at a Forward P/E ratio of 17.78. For comparison, its industry has an average Forward P/E of 22.56, which means DRI is trading at a discount to the group.

Also, we should mention that DRI has a PEG ratio of 2. This metric is used similarly to the famous P/E ratio, but the PEG ratio also takes into account the stock's expected earnings growth rate. Retail - Restaurants stocks are, on average, holding a PEG ratio of 2.1 based on yesterday's closing prices.

The Retail - Restaurants industry is part of the Retail-Wholesale sector. This group has a Zacks Industry Rank of 59, putting it in the top 24% of all 250+ industries.

The Zacks Industry Rank includes is listed in order from best to worst in terms of the average Zacks Rank of the individual companies within each of these sectors. Our research shows that the top 50% rated industries outperform the bottom half by a factor of 2 to 1.

To follow DRI in the coming trading sessions, be sure to utilize Zacks.com.


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