Olive Garden Parent Turns in Quarterly Losses

The Covid-19 omicron variant weighed on the Olive Garden parent

Deputy Editor
Mar 24, 2022 at 10:29 AM
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The shares of Darden Restaurants Inc (NYSE:DRI) are up 1.6% at $132.98 at last check, despite the Olive Garden parent reporting lower-than-expected fiscal third-quarter earnings and revenue. The company noted the Covid-19 omicron variant's impact on guest demand and staffing, and lowered its 2022 sales and profit forecasts.

DRI has moved higher since its March 8, annual low of $116.03, though the stock appears to be running into some pressure at the $135 level. Over the past six months, the security has shed 16.9%.

Analysts are bullish on Darden Restaurants stock, leaving little room for potential upgrades. Of the 18 analysts in coverage, 13 carry a "buy" or better rating, while five say "hold." Plus, the 12-month consensus price target of $163.58 is a 22.8% premium to current levels. 

Options traders are chiming in on today's results. Amid low absolute volume, 1,053 calls and 1,810 puts have been exchanged, or five times the intraday average. Most popular is the May 115-strike put, where new positions are being opened, followed by the April 165-strike call.

It's also worth pointing out that DRI ranks low on the Schaeffer's Volatility Scorecard (SVS), with a score of just 12 out of 100. In other words, the security has consistently realized lower volatility than its options have priced in, making the stock a potential premium-selling candidate.


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