Stifel Upgrades Darden Restaurants Amid Stock Selloff After CEO Announces May Retirement


Although Darden Restaurants, Inc’s DRI stock came under pressure following the announcement of CEO Gene Lee's pending retirement in May 2022, investors may soon realize that his successor, Rick Cardenas, “can continue to guide the company on a similar strategic growth path,” according to investment banking company Stifel.

The Darden Restaurants Analyst: Stifel Analyst Chris O'Cull upgraded the rating for Darden Restaurants from Hold to Buy, while maintaining the price target at $165.

The Darden Restaurants Thesis: The company’s direction in recent years have been “greatly influenced” by the views of Ricks Cardenas while he was CFO and COO, O'Cull said in the upgrade note.

“Darden continues to report solid results, and we believe the company is well-positioned to outperform peers in a challenging operating environment,” the analyst wrote.

Although “variant-related sales disruptions are a near-term risk,” the current share price of Darden Restaurants represents “an attractive entry point for a high-quality company,” he added.

DRI Price Action: Shares of Darden Restaurants had risen by 1.72% to $145.26 at the time of publication Wednesday.

Related Link: Investors Dump Tech Stocks in Favor of Value Stocks

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Posted In: Analyst ColorUpgradesAnalyst RatingsChris O'CullGene LeeRick CardenasStifel
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