Blackston Financial Advisory Group LLC Invests $547,000 in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI)

Blackston Financial Advisory Group LLC acquired a new stake in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRIFree Report) in the 4th quarter, according to its most recent filing with the SEC. The fund acquired 3,332 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock, valued at approximately $547,000.

A number of other large investors have also bought and sold shares of DRI. Alps Advisors Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 3.0% during the 3rd quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. now owns 2,274 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $326,000 after acquiring an additional 66 shares during the last quarter. Wambolt & Associates LLC grew its stake in Darden Restaurants by 3.7% in the 3rd quarter. Wambolt & Associates LLC now owns 1,871 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $266,000 after buying an additional 67 shares during the last quarter. Whittier Trust Co. lifted its position in Darden Restaurants by 0.5% during the third quarter. Whittier Trust Co. now owns 13,705 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $1,963,000 after acquiring an additional 71 shares during the last quarter. Blair William & Co. IL boosted its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 1.0% during the third quarter. Blair William & Co. IL now owns 6,997 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $1,002,000 after acquiring an additional 71 shares during the period. Finally, Financial Engines Advisors L.L.C. boosted its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 2.7% during the third quarter. Financial Engines Advisors L.L.C. now owns 3,008 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $431,000 after acquiring an additional 80 shares during the period. 93.64% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Darden Restaurants Price Performance

Shares of DRI opened at $166.97 on Thursday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.25, a current ratio of 0.39 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.63. The stock has a market cap of $19.94 billion, a PE ratio of 19.57, a PEG ratio of 1.77 and a beta of 1.26. Darden Restaurants, Inc. has a 12-month low of $133.36 and a 12-month high of $176.84. The business has a 50-day simple moving average of $167.10 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $157.30.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRIGet Free Report) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, March 21st. The restaurant operator reported $2.62 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $2.63 by ($0.01). Darden Restaurants had a net margin of 9.24% and a return on equity of 49.94%. The business had revenue of $2.97 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.02 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $2.34 EPS. Darden Restaurants’s revenue was up 6.8% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts anticipate that Darden Restaurants, Inc. will post 8.85 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Darden Restaurants Dividend Announcement

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, May 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, April 10th will be given a $1.31 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, April 9th. This represents a $5.24 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.14%. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 61.43%.

Wall Street Analysts Forecast Growth

DRI has been the topic of several recent research reports. Guggenheim increased their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $180.00 to $185.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, March 19th. Oppenheimer decreased their target price on shares of Darden Restaurants from $186.00 to $182.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, March 22nd. Stephens reiterated an “overweight” rating and issued a $170.00 price target on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Monday, December 18th. Evercore ISI increased their price target on Darden Restaurants from $160.00 to $170.00 and gave the stock an “in-line” rating in a research report on Tuesday, December 12th. Finally, Wedbush dropped their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $187.00 to $181.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a report on Friday, March 22nd. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and sixteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. According to data from MarketBeat.com, the company has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and a consensus price target of $178.85.

Check Out Our Latest Report on Darden Restaurants

Insider Activity

In other Darden Restaurants news, SVP John W. Madonna sold 3,836 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, January 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $163.80, for a total transaction of $628,336.80. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 6,971 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,141,849.80. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. In related news, SVP Matthew R. Broad sold 6,831 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, January 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $163.26, for a total transaction of $1,115,229.06. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 19,141 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,124,959.66. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, SVP John W. Madonna sold 3,836 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, January 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $163.80, for a total value of $628,336.80. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 6,971 shares in the company, valued at $1,141,849.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.85% of the company’s stock.

About Darden Restaurants

(Free Report)

Darden Restaurants, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, owns and operates full-service restaurants in the United States and Canada. It operates under Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen, Yard House, The Capital Grille, Seasons 52, Bahama Breeze, Eddie V's Prime Seafood, and Capital Burger brand names.

See Also

Want to see what other hedge funds are holding DRI? Visit HoldingsChannel.com to get the latest 13F filings and insider trades for Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRIFree Report).

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

Receive News & Ratings for Darden Restaurants Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Darden Restaurants and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.