Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) Shares Sold by BlackRock Inc.

BlackRock Inc. decreased its position in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) by 5.4% during the 3rd quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 8,525,043 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock after selling 485,737 shares during the quarter. BlackRock Inc. owned 0.07% of Darden Restaurants worth $1,291,288,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other large investors have also recently modified their holdings of the company. Monumental Financial Group Inc. acquired a new stake in Darden Restaurants in the second quarter valued at approximately $25,000. Tompkins Financial Corp acquired a new stake in Darden Restaurants in the third quarter valued at approximately $31,000. Hillsdale Investment Management Inc. acquired a new stake in Darden Restaurants in the third quarter valued at approximately $32,000. Arlington Partners LLC purchased a new position in Darden Restaurants in the third quarter valued at approximately $38,000. Finally, Sage Private Wealth Group LLC purchased a new position in Darden Restaurants in the third quarter valued at approximately $43,000. 89.13% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

DRI has been the topic of several recent analyst reports. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $154.00 price target (down from $156.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Friday, December 17th. Barclays increased their price target on shares of Darden Restaurants from $175.00 to $179.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 15th. Truist increased their price target on shares of Darden Restaurants from $167.00 to $180.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, September 24th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Darden Restaurants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $151.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, October 26th. Finally, MKM Partners lowered their target price on shares of Darden Restaurants from $185.00 to $180.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, December 20th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty-two have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Based on data from MarketBeat, the stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $167.00.

NYSE:DRI opened at $143.00 on Friday. The firm’s fifty day moving average price is $146.91 and its 200 day moving average price is $147.34. Darden Restaurants, Inc. has a 1-year low of $110.89 and a 1-year high of $164.28. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.37, a current ratio of 0.85 and a quick ratio of 0.72. The firm has a market cap of $18.26 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.46, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.91 and a beta of 1.46.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last released its earnings results on Friday, December 17th. The restaurant operator reported $1.48 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.43 by $0.05. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 30.83% and a net margin of 10.73%. The company had revenue of $2.27 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.23 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.74 earnings per share. Darden Restaurants’s quarterly revenue was up 37.2% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, analysts expect that Darden Restaurants, Inc. will post 7.57 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, February 1st. Shareholders of record on Monday, January 10th will be issued a $1.10 dividend. This represents a $4.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.08%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, January 7th. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 62.95%.

Darden Restaurants declared that its board has initiated a stock repurchase program on Thursday, September 23rd that permits the company to buyback $750.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization permits the restaurant operator to reacquire up to 3.6% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are often a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

In other news, Director M Shan Atkins sold 3,123 shares of Darden Restaurants stock in a transaction on Tuesday, December 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $151.11, for a total transaction of $471,916.53. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, CEO Eugene I. Lee, Jr. sold 76,725 shares of Darden Restaurants stock in a transaction on Wednesday, January 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $152.38, for a total value of $11,691,355.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.95% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Darden Restaurants Profile

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

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