California State Teachers Retirement System Trims Stake in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI)

California State Teachers Retirement System decreased its position in shares of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRIFree Report) by 3.0% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent filing with the SEC. The firm owned 174,622 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock after selling 5,357 shares during the period. California State Teachers Retirement System owned about 0.15% of Darden Restaurants worth $28,690,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Fortitude Family Office LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Darden Restaurants in the 4th quarter worth approximately $29,000. Hartford Financial Management Inc. grew its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 65.1% in the 4th quarter. Hartford Financial Management Inc. now owns 180 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $30,000 after buying an additional 71 shares during the last quarter. Tennessee Valley Asset Management Partners purchased a new stake in Darden Restaurants during the 4th quarter valued at $33,000. McGlone Suttner Wealth Management Inc. purchased a new stake in Darden Restaurants during the 4th quarter valued at $35,000. Finally, Union Savings Bank boosted its stake in Darden Restaurants by 44.0% during the 4th quarter. Union Savings Bank now owns 216 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $35,000 after purchasing an additional 66 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 93.64% of the company’s stock.

Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades

Several analysts have commented on DRI shares. Bank of America increased their target price on Darden Restaurants from $193.00 to $198.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, March 18th. Citigroup cut their target price on Darden Restaurants from $192.00 to $191.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research note on Wednesday. Stephens started coverage on Darden Restaurants in a research note on Friday, April 12th. They set an “equal weight” rating and a $170.00 target price on the stock. Stifel Nicolaus increased their target price on Darden Restaurants from $185.00 to $190.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, March 19th. Finally, Wedbush cut their target price on Darden Restaurants from $187.00 to $181.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, March 22nd. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and sixteen have given a buy rating to the stock. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, the company has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and a consensus price target of $177.90.

Check Out Our Latest Stock Report on Darden Restaurants

Darden Restaurants Price Performance

Shares of Darden Restaurants stock opened at $150.61 on Thursday. Darden Restaurants, Inc. has a one year low of $133.36 and a one year high of $176.84. The stock’s fifty day moving average is $153.13 and its 200 day moving average is $160.20. The stock has a market cap of $17.98 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.66, a P/E/G ratio of 1.54 and a beta of 1.29. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.63, a quick ratio of 0.25 and a current ratio of 0.39.

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

Darden Restaurants Dividend Announcement

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, May 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, April 10th were paid a $1.31 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, April 9th. This represents a $5.24 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.48%. Darden Restaurants’s payout ratio is presently 61.43%.

Darden Restaurants declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a share buyback plan on Thursday, March 21st that permits the company to buyback $1.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization permits the restaurant operator to reacquire up to 5% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are usually an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

Insiders Place Their Bets

In other Darden Restaurants news, SVP Matthew R. Broad sold 4,707 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, April 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $156.15, for a total value of $734,998.05. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 19,179 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,994,800.85. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. In other news, Director William S. Simon sold 1,219 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, April 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $158.21, for a total transaction of $192,857.99. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 6,281 shares in the company, valued at $993,717.01. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, SVP Matthew R. Broad sold 4,707 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, April 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $156.15, for a total value of $734,998.05. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 19,179 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,994,800.85. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 13,599 shares of company stock worth $2,197,891. Corporate insiders own 0.85% of the company’s stock.

Darden Restaurants Profile

(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

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

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