Centaurus Financial Inc. trimmed its position in shares of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) by 3.1% during the 1st quarter, Holdings Channel.com reports. The institutional investor owned 2,650 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock after selling 86 shares during the quarter. Centaurus Financial Inc.’s holdings in Darden Restaurants were worth $376,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
A number of other institutional investors have also recently modified their holdings of DRI. Norges Bank bought a new stake in Darden Restaurants during the fourth quarter worth about $192,637,000. D1 Capital Partners L.P. bought a new stake in Darden Restaurants during the fourth quarter worth about $138,877,000. Nuveen Asset Management LLC grew its stake in Darden Restaurants by 89.3% during the fourth quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 1,185,038 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $141,161,000 after buying an additional 558,916 shares during the last quarter. Artemis Investment Management LLP bought a new stake in Darden Restaurants during the first quarter worth about $36,870,000. Finally, National Pension Service bought a new stake in Darden Restaurants during the fourth quarter worth about $25,829,000. 89.35% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Shares of NYSE:DRI opened at $137.42 on Wednesday. Darden Restaurants, Inc. has a 12 month low of $61.21 and a 12 month high of $149.73. The company has a quick ratio of 0.59, a current ratio of 0.72 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.38. The company’s fifty day simple moving average is $143.87 and its 200 day simple moving average is $128.29. The firm has a market cap of $17.91 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of -143.15, a PEG ratio of 2.31 and a beta of 1.48.
Darden Restaurants announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, March 25th that allows the company to repurchase $500.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the restaurant operator to repurchase up to 2.7% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are often a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, May 3rd. Investors of record on Friday, April 9th were issued a dividend of $0.88 per share. This represents a $3.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.56%. This is a positive change from Darden Restaurants’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.37. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, April 8th. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 112.46%.
In other Darden Restaurants news, CEO Eugene I. Lee, Jr. sold 40,000 shares of Darden Restaurants stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $142.88, for a total value of $5,715,200.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 268,707 shares in the company, valued at approximately $38,392,856.16. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, COO Ricardo Cardenas sold 1,200 shares of Darden Restaurants stock in a transaction on Tuesday, April 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $147.04, for a total transaction of $176,448.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief operating officer now owns 48,169 shares in the company, valued at $7,082,769.76. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 158,226 shares of company stock worth $21,815,605. 1.00% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
DRI has been the topic of several research analyst reports. Evercore ISI increased their price target on shares of Darden Restaurants from $140.00 to $165.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Friday, March 26th. Barclays increased their price target on shares of Darden Restaurants from $131.00 to $145.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Thursday, March 25th. The Goldman Sachs Group reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Friday, March 19th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased their price target on shares of Darden Restaurants from $150.00 to $162.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Monday, April 19th. Finally, Cowen raised shares of Darden Restaurants from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and increased their price target for the company from $137.00 to $164.00 in a research note on Thursday, May 6th. Nine investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty-one have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. Darden Restaurants currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $142.10.
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 31, 2020, it owned and operated approximately 1,804 restaurants, which included 868 under the Olive Garden, 522 under the LongHorn Steakhouse, 165 under the Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen, 81 under the Yard House, 60 under The Capital Grille, 44 under the Seasons 52, 41 under the Bahama Breeze, and 23 under the Eddie V's Prime Seafood brands.
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