Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) Stake Raised by DAVENPORT & Co LLC

DAVENPORT & Co LLC raised its position in shares of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRIGet Rating) by 5.0% in the first quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 1,957 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock after purchasing an additional 94 shares during the period. DAVENPORT & Co LLC’s holdings in Darden Restaurants were worth $260,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently made changes to their positions in the company. James Reed Financial Services Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Darden Restaurants during the 4th quarter worth about $26,000. Benjamin Edwards Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Darden Restaurants during the 4th quarter worth about $34,000. Allegheny Financial Group LTD acquired a new position in shares of Darden Restaurants during the 4th quarter valued at about $40,000. Capital Advisory Group Advisory Services LLC acquired a new position in shares of Darden Restaurants during the 1st quarter valued at about $40,000. Finally, FSB Premier Wealth Management Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Darden Restaurants during the 4th quarter valued at about $49,000. 90.71% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Darden Restaurants Price Performance

Shares of DRI stock opened at $121.47 on Thursday. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $118.57 and a two-hundred day moving average of $129.14. The company has a current ratio of 0.64, a quick ratio of 0.49 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.41. Darden Restaurants, Inc. has a 12 month low of $110.96 and a 12 month high of $164.28. The company has a market capitalization of $15.15 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.41, a P/E/G ratio of 1.56 and a beta of 1.31.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRIGet Rating) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, June 23rd. The restaurant operator reported $2.24 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $2.21 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $2.60 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.54 billion. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 39.05% and a net margin of 9.89%. As a group, equities analysts expect that Darden Restaurants, Inc. will post 7.7 EPS for the current year.

Darden Restaurants declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock buyback plan on Thursday, June 23rd that allows the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the restaurant operator to buy up to 6.6% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are generally an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

Darden Restaurants Increases Dividend

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, August 1st. Investors of record on Friday, July 8th will be given a dividend of $1.21 per share. This represents a $4.84 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.98%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, July 7th. This is an increase from Darden Restaurants’s previous quarterly dividend of $1.10. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 65.41%.

Insider Buying and Selling

In related news, Director Timothy J. Wilmott bought 10,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, June 28th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $120.00 per share, for a total transaction of $1,200,000.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 27,094 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,251,280. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. In other Darden Restaurants news, Director Nana Mensah sold 567 shares of Darden Restaurants stock in a transaction on Friday, July 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $117.03, for a total value of $66,356.01. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 10 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,170.30. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Timothy J. Wilmott acquired 10,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, June 28th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $120.00 per share, with a total value of $1,200,000.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 27,094 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,251,280. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. 0.95% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Analysts Set New Price Targets

A number of research analysts have recently commented on DRI shares. Royal Bank of Canada lowered their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $151.00 to $143.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, June 24th. KeyCorp lowered their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $160.00 to $136.00 in a report on Wednesday, June 15th. TheStreet raised Darden Restaurants from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a report on Monday, May 9th. Raymond James lowered their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $153.00 to $136.00 in a report on Wednesday, June 15th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group lowered their target price on Darden Restaurants from $175.00 to $152.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, June 24th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seventeen have issued a buy rating to the stock. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, the company has an average rating of “Moderate Buy” and a consensus price target of $141.65.

About Darden Restaurants

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Darden Restaurants, Inc, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates full-service restaurants in the United States and Canada. As of May 30, 2021, it owned and operated 1,834 restaurants, which included 875 under the Olive Garden, 533 under the LongHorn Steakhouse, 170 under the Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen, 81 under the Yard House, 63 under The Capital Grille, 44 under the Seasons 52, 42 under the Bahama Breeze, and 26 under the Eddie V's Prime Seafood brands.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI)

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