O Shaughnessy Asset Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) by 107.4% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel.com reports. The firm owned 446 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock after purchasing an additional 231 shares during the quarter. O Shaughnessy Asset Management LLC’s holdings in Darden Restaurants were worth $65,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Other hedge funds also recently modified their holdings of the company. E Fund Management Co. Ltd. bought a new stake in Darden Restaurants during the first quarter valued at about $33,000. Patriot Financial Group Insurance Agency LLC boosted its position in Darden Restaurants by 57.7% during the second quarter. Patriot Financial Group Insurance Agency LLC now owns 235 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $34,000 after purchasing an additional 86 shares in the last quarter. Cowen Prime Advisors LLC bought a new stake in Darden Restaurants during the second quarter valued at about $37,000. Certified Advisory Corp bought a new stake in Darden Restaurants during the first quarter valued at about $36,000. Finally, Berman Capital Advisors LLC raised its stake in Darden Restaurants by 55.6% in the first quarter. Berman Capital Advisors LLC now owns 406 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $57,000 after buying an additional 145 shares during the last quarter. 87.38% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
A number of research firms have commented on DRI. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Darden Restaurants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $157.00 price target for the company in a research note on Tuesday, August 31st. BTIG Research reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Sunday, June 27th. Truist Securities increased their price target on Darden Restaurants from $158.00 to $170.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, June 9th. Oppenheimer increased their price target on Darden Restaurants from $165.00 to $175.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Friday, June 25th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets increased their price target on Darden Restaurants from $140.00 to $150.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research note on Friday, June 25th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty-three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Based on data from MarketBeat, the stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $156.07.
Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, September 23rd. The restaurant operator reported $1.76 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.65 by $0.11. The firm had revenue of $2.31 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.24 billion. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 22.25% and a net margin of 8.74%. The business’s revenue was up 51.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.56 earnings per share. As a group, analysts expect that Darden Restaurants, Inc. will post 7.41 earnings per share for the current year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, November 1st. Stockholders of record on Friday, October 8th will be paid a $1.10 dividend. This represents a $4.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.76%. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio is presently 102.09%.
Darden Restaurants declared that its board has authorized a share buyback program on Thursday, September 23rd that authorizes the company to buyback $750.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the restaurant operator to reacquire up to 3.6% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are usually a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.
In other Darden Restaurants news, insider Todd Burrowes sold 5,232 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, July 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $150.04, for a total transaction of $785,009.28. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 36,577 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,488,013.08. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, SVP Douglas J. Milanes sold 12,385 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, July 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $150.01, for a total value of $1,857,873.85. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 26,659 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,999,116.59. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 141,327 shares of company stock worth $21,170,373 over the last ninety days. Corporate insiders own 0.95% of the company’s stock.
About Darden Restaurants
Darden Restaurants, Inc is a full-service restaurant company, which engages in the provision of restaurant services. It operates through the following segments: Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Fine Dining, and Other Business. The Olive Garden segment is the largest full-service dining Italian restaurant operator.
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