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

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

Darden Restaurants ( DRI) pushed the Leisure industry lower today making it today's featured Leisure laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.6%. By the end of trading, Darden Restaurants fell $1.90 (-3.6%) to $51.02 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 14,856,363 shares of Darden Restaurants exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,848,900 shares. The stock ranged in price between $49.35-$51.82 after having opened the day at $51.79 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $52.92. Other companies within the Leisure industry that declined today were: Marcus Corporation ( MCS), down 6.0%, Pizza Inn Holdings ( PZZI), down 3.3%, Texas Roadhouse ( TXRH), down 3.1% and Buffalo Wild Wings ( BWLD), down 2.9%.

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 $6.8 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.6, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 17.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate Darden Restaurants a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 15 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, reasonable valuation levels and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share.

On the positive front, MakeMyTrip ( MMYT), up 5.8%, Carnival ( CUK), up 4.3%, Canterbury Park Holding Corporation ( CPHC), up 3.8% and Kona Grill ( KONA), up 3.7% , were all gainers within the leisure industry with Carnival Corporation ( CCL) being today's featured leisure industry leader.

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).

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

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