The analyst firm raised its fiscal 2015 EPS estimates for the Olive Garden parent company to $2.26 a share from its previous estimate of $2.23 a share. BMO also raised its fiscal 2016 EPS estimates to $2.53 a share from $2.47 a share.
"DRI deserves credit for the recent improvement in same-store sales trends and for continuing to uncover cost savings opportunities," analyst Andrew Strelzik wrote. "We are encouraged by DRI's decision to temporarily reduce capex behind Olive Garden remodels to realign its remodels behind only the highest return options as it is evidence of becoming a better steward of capital."
Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates DARDEN RESTAURANTS INC as a Hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate DARDEN RESTAURANTS INC (DRI) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed -- some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, compelling growth in net income and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow and poor profit margins."