Van ECK Associates Corp Raises Stock Position in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI)

Van ECK Associates Corp increased its stake in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRIGet Rating) by 6.1% during the 3rd quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 14,516 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock after purchasing an additional 841 shares during the quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp’s holdings in Darden Restaurants were worth $1,834,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Cetera Advisor Networks LLC boosted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 2.6% during the 1st quarter. Cetera Advisor Networks LLC now owns 3,237 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $430,000 after acquiring an additional 83 shares during the last quarter. D.A. Davidson & CO. boosted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 25.1% during the 1st quarter. D.A. Davidson & CO. now owns 2,001 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $266,000 after acquiring an additional 401 shares during the last quarter. Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan Trust Fund purchased a new position in shares of Darden Restaurants during the 1st quarter worth $150,000. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS boosted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 4.9% during the 1st quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS now owns 17,090 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $2,272,000 after acquiring an additional 800 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 17.1% during the 1st quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 776,082 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $103,176,000 after acquiring an additional 113,548 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 89.23% of the company’s stock.

Insiders Place Their Bets

In other Darden Restaurants news, insider Daniel J. Kiernan sold 10,290 shares of Darden Restaurants stock in a transaction on Friday, October 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $140.53, for a total value of $1,446,053.70. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 16,043 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,254,522.79. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. In related news, SVP Douglas J. Milanes sold 2,229 shares of Darden Restaurants stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, January 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $150.00, for a total transaction of $334,350.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 5,328 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $799,200. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Daniel J. Kiernan sold 10,290 shares of Darden Restaurants stock in a transaction dated Friday, October 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $140.53, for a total transaction of $1,446,053.70. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 16,043 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,254,522.79. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 22,491 shares of company stock valued at $3,165,962 in the last three months. Corporate insiders own 0.93% of the company’s stock.

Darden Restaurants Stock Performance

Shares of NYSE:DRI opened at $149.80 on Friday. Darden Restaurants, Inc. has a 52 week low of $110.96 and a 52 week high of $152.08. The stock has a market capitalization of $18.23 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.66, a PEG ratio of 1.94 and a beta of 1.21. The firm has a fifty day simple moving average of $143.54 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $132.87. The company has a quick ratio of 0.31, a current ratio of 0.47 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.44.

Darden Restaurants Announces Dividend

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, February 1st. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, January 10th will be paid a $1.21 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, January 9th. This represents a $4.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.23%. Darden Restaurants’s payout ratio is currently 66.76%.

Wall Street Analyst Weigh In

Several research analysts have recently weighed in on the stock. KeyCorp lifted their price target on shares of Darden Restaurants from $150.00 to $160.00 in a research note on Friday, December 9th. Wedbush upgraded shares of Darden Restaurants from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating and lifted their price target for the stock from $134.00 to $160.00 in a research note on Wednesday, December 14th. Raymond James raised their price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants from $136.00 to $160.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Friday, December 2nd. Robert W. Baird downgraded shares of Darden Restaurants from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and raised their price objective for the company from $134.00 to $150.00 in a research report on Tuesday, November 29th. Finally, Citigroup raised their price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants from $156.00 to $160.00 in a research report on Wednesday, December 7th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eighteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. According to data from MarketBeat, the company has an average rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average target price of $150.91.

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 29, 2022, it owned and operated 1,867 restaurants, which included 884 under the Olive Garden brand, 546 under the LongHorn Steakhouse brand name, 172 under the Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen brand, 85 under the Yard House brand name, 62 under The Capital Grille brand, 45 under the Seasons 52 brand name, 42 under the Bahama Breeze brand, 28 under the Eddie V's Prime Seafood brand name, and 3 under the Capital Burger brand; and franchised 60 restaurants comprising 35 under the Olive Garden brand, 18 under the LongHorn Steakhouse brand name, 4 under the Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen brand, 2 under The Capital Grille brand name, and 1 under the Bahama Breeze brand.Darden Restaurants, Inc was founded in 1968 and is based in Orlando, Florida.

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

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