Darden Restaurants (DRI) Marked As A Barbarian At The Gate

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.

Trade-Ideas LLC identified Darden Restaurants ( DRI) as a "barbarian at the gate" (strong stocks crossing above resistance with today's range greater than 200%) candidate. In addition to specific proprietary factors, Trade-Ideas identified Darden Restaurants as such a stock due to the following factors:

  • DRI has an average dollar-volume (as measured by average daily share volume multiplied by share price) of $166.6 million.
  • DRI has traded 1.1 million shares today.
  • DRI traded in a range 205.1% of the normal price range with a price range of $1.98.
  • DRI traded above its daily resistance level (quality: 23 days, meaning that the stock is crossing a resistance level set by the last 23 calendar days. The resistance price is defined by the Price - $0.01 at the time of the signal).

Stocks matching the 'Barbarian at the Gate' criteria are worthwhile stocks to watch for a variety of factors including historical back testing and volatility. Trade-Ideas targets these opportunities because the stock is exhibiting an unusual behavior while displaying positive price action. In this case, the stock crossed an important inflection point; namely, 'resistance' while at the same time the range of the stock's movement in price is more than twice its normal size. This large range foreshadows a possible continuation as the stock moves higher.

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More details on DRI:

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. The stock currently has a dividend yield of 4.3%. DRI has a PE ratio of 18.1. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate Darden Restaurants a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 15 rate it a hold.

The average volume for Darden Restaurants has been 2.1 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Darden has a market cap of $6.7 billion and is part of the services sector and leisure industry. The stock has a beta of 0.77 and a short float of 6.8% with 2.49 days to cover. Shares are up 13.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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TheStreetRatings.com Analysis:

TheStreet Quant 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.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • DRI's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 0.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 6.1%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • Compared to where it was 12 months ago, the stock is up, but it has so far lagged the appreciation in the S&P 500. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • Even though the current debt-to-equity ratio is 1.33, it is still below the industry average, suggesting that this level of debt is acceptable within the Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure industry. Even though the debt-to-equity ratio shows mixed results, the company's quick ratio of 0.12 is very low and demonstrates very weak liquidity.
  • Current return on equity is lower than its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of weakness within the company. Compared to other companies in the Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, DARDEN RESTAURANTS INC has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has exceeded that of the S&P 500.

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