Piper Jaffray Reiterates Overweight Rating on Darden Restaurants (DRI)
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Piper Jaffray reiterated an Overweight rating and $76.00 price target on Darden Restaurants (NYSE: DRI) and urges investors to become increasingly focused as it relates to human capital investments, brand/operational excellence and earnings/cash flow consistency.
Analyst Nicole Regan commented, "Earlier this week, we published our updated theme report. In this now “Pay for Performance” stage of the cycle we urge investors to become increasingly focused as it relates to human capital investments, brand/operational excellence and earnings/cash flow consistency. Despite a fiercely competitive environment, we project a +1.5%, or in line with consensus, core comp for the 1Q17 period that ends August. We have revised our EPS estimate to $0.82 (also in line with the Street), noting guidance for 1Q17 to be the highest growth of the year as a result of commodity deflation. We maintain our Overweight rating and $76 price target on DRI shares. A key catalyst remains leverage in terms of scale, data analytics, strategic planning and a results-oriented culture. Each 1x in EBITDA equates to ~ $8/share."
Shares of Darden Restaurants closed at $62.46 yesterday.
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