Darden Restaurants Inc (DRI): Today's Featured Leisure Winner

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model

Darden Restaurants ( DRI) pushed the Leisure industry higher today making it today's featured leisure winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.2%. By the end of trading, Darden Restaurants rose $0.72 (1.4%) to $53.28 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1,477,239 shares of Darden Restaurants exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,490,900 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $52.73-$53.91 after having opened the day at $52.74 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $52.56. Other companies within the Leisure industry that increased today were: Morgans Hotel Group Company ( MHGC), up 12.9%, Canterbury Park Holding Corporation ( CPHC), up 10.2%, Jamba ( JMBA), up 7.5% and PokerTek ( PTEK), up 5.3%.
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Darden Restaurants, Inc. owns and operates full service restaurants in the United States and Canada. It operates restaurants under the Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, The Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52, Eddie V's Prime Seafood, and Wildfish Seafood Grille brand names. Darden Restaurants has a market cap of $6.7 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.8, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 14.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 8 analysts that rate Darden Restaurants a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 16 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Darden Restaurants as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the negative front, Ryman Hospitality Properties ( RHP), down 8.1%, Premier Exhibitions ( PRXI), down 4.5%, Marriott International ( MAR), down 4.2% and Famous Dave's of America ( DAVE), down 3.5% , were all laggards within the leisure industry with Expedia ( EXPE) being today's leisure industry laggard.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the leisure industry could consider PowerShares Dynamic Leisure&Entert ( PEJ) while those bearish on the leisure industry could consider ProShares Ultra Sht Consumer Services ( SCC).

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