Darden Downgraded at Goldman Sachs (DRI)

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Goldman Sachs reported on Thursday that they have downgraded restaurant company, Darden Restaurants, Inc.( DRI ) to "Neutral."

Analysts from the firm have downgraded DRI from a "Buy" to "Neutral," and have reduced its price target from $65 to $49. This price target suggests a 6% increase from the stock's current price of $45.80.

The firm noted, "we continue to see DRI as a high-quality company with good brands, and we had previously been attracted by DRI's risk-reward profile, especially in light of a potential Olive Garden turnaround. However, our confidence in a timely Olive Garden turnaround appears to have been misplaced and trends at DRI's other brands have since deteriorated."

Looking ahead, the firm has lowered its estimates for 2013 to 2015. Estimates for 2013 were reduced from $3.91 per share to $3.49 per share. For 2014, estimates declined from $4.45 to $3.64 per share, and for 2015, estimates were lowered from $5.05 per share to $3.92 per share.

Darden shares were mostly flat during premarket trading Thursday. The stock is mostly flat YTD.

The Bottom Line
Shares of Darden Restaurants ( DRI ) have a 4.37% dividend yield, based on last night's closing stock price of $45.80. The stock has technical support in the $43-$44 price area. If the shares can firm up, we see overhead resistance around the $49-$50 price levels.

Darden Restaurants, Inc.( DRI ) is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com DARS™ Rating of 3.4 out of 5 stars.

Be sure to visit our complete recommended list of the Best Dividend Stocks , as well as a detailed explanation of our ratings system here .



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

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