In another good sign for shareholders, Darden in late March declared a quarterly disbursement of $0.88 a share, up from $0.37.
Shareholders now receive a 1.41% dividend. Baird has a $152 price target, but the slightly higher consensus target is $156.04. Darden Restaurants stock closed at $145.96 on Monday.
The fast-food giant continues to revamp both stores and the menu, and it is a solid pick for more conservative accounts. McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD) is the world’s leading global food-service retailer with over 39,000 locations serving approximately 69 million customers in over 100 countries each day. More than 80% of McDonald’s restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent local businesspersons.
The company has built a product pipeline, including a new chicken sandwich, a McPlant line and follow-on celebrity promos. Baird feels the key driver of the McDonald’s story will shift to a technology scale that competitors will struggle to replicate. This tech evolution is supporting a wave of consolidation, while it creates pressure on small and mid-tier players.
In addition, many on Wall Street believe that the company will benefit broadly from economic reopenings in 2021, and the company’s investments in technology, a renewed marketing strategy, loyalty and menu innovation will drive share gains in the industry.
Shareholders receive a 2.21% dividend. The $242 Baird price target compares with a $244.56 consensus target. McDonald’s stock closed on Monday at $231.81.
Like many restaurants, Texas Roadhouse Inc. (NASDAQ: TXRH) offers takeout service, but with sit-down customers returning, it is also poised to see solid growth. The company is a full-service, casual dining restaurant chain that offers assorted seasoned and aged steaks hand cut daily on the premises and cooked to order over open gas-fired grills.
Texas Roadhouse operates restaurants under the Texas Roadhouse and Aspen Creek names. The firm also offers its guests a selection of ribs, fish, seafood, chicken, pork chops, pulled pork and vegetable plates, and an assortment of hamburgers, salads and sandwiches. It also provides supervisory and administrative services for other licensed and franchised restaurants.
Baird has set a $101 price target. The consensus target is $92.17, and the final Texas Roadhouse stock trade on Monday was at $97.83.
While these stocks have had a nice run off the pandemic-driven lows, it is important to remember that comparisons starting in the second quarter are going to be much lower due to shutdowns in 2020. That should provide a nice tailwind for these industry leaders. It also should lead Wall Street analysts to continue raising price targets.
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