Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI – Get Rating) declared a quarterly dividend on Thursday, September 22nd, RTT News reports. Stockholders of record on Monday, October 10th will be given a dividend of 1.21 per share by the restaurant operator on Tuesday, November 1st. This represents a $4.84 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.86%.
Darden Restaurants has raised its dividend by an average of 13.2% annually over the last three years and has increased its dividend every year for the last 2 years. Darden Restaurants has a payout ratio of 62.9% meaning its dividend is sufficiently covered by earnings. Equities research analysts expect Darden Restaurants to earn $8.47 per share next year, which means the company should continue to be able to cover its $4.84 annual dividend with an expected future payout ratio of 57.1%.
Darden Restaurants Stock Down 4.4 %
DRI stock opened at $125.45 on Friday. Darden Restaurants has a 1-year low of $110.96 and a 1-year high of $164.28. The business has a fifty day moving average price of $126.54 and a 200-day moving average price of $125.52. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.41, a current ratio of 0.64 and a quick ratio of 0.49. The stock has a market capitalization of $15.55 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.95, a P/E/G ratio of 1.73 and a beta of 1.30.
Analysts Set New Price Targets
Several research analysts have recently weighed in on DRI shares. Morgan Stanley decreased their price target on Darden Restaurants from $161.00 to $148.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, June 24th. Wedbush upped their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $122.00 to $134.00 in a research report on Thursday. Credit Suisse Group reduced their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $175.00 to $152.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, June 24th. StockNews.com cut Darden Restaurants from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Saturday, August 27th. Finally, KeyCorp reduced their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $160.00 to $136.00 in a research report on Wednesday, June 15th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eighteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. According to MarketBeat, Darden Restaurants has an average rating of “Moderate Buy” and a consensus price target of $144.14.
Insider Transactions at Darden Restaurants
In other news, Director Nana Mensah sold 567 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated 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 of the company’s stock, valued at $1,170.30. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. In related news, Chairman Eugene I. Lee, Jr. sold 41,442 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $124.71, for a total transaction of $5,168,231.82. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 222,480 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $27,745,480.80. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, Director Nana Mensah sold 567 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $117.03, for a total value of $66,356.01. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 10 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,170.30. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.93% of the company’s stock.
Hedge Funds Weigh In On Darden Restaurants
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in DRI. Nelson Van Denburg & Campbell Wealth Management Group LLC bought a new position in Darden Restaurants during the first quarter valued at approximately $60,000. Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan Trust Fund bought a new position in Darden Restaurants during the first quarter valued at approximately $150,000. Covestor Ltd boosted its stake in Darden Restaurants by 151.9% during the first quarter. Covestor Ltd now owns 1,136 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $151,000 after buying an additional 685 shares during the last quarter. Zions Bancorporation N.A. raised its position in Darden Restaurants by 33.1% during the first quarter. Zions Bancorporation N.A. now owns 1,548 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $206,000 after purchasing an additional 385 shares during the period. Finally, Quantamental Technologies LLC purchased a new stake in Darden Restaurants during the first quarter valued at approximately $241,000. 89.62% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
Darden Restaurants declared that its board has authorized a stock buyback program 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 programs are usually a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.
Darden Restaurants Company Profile
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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