Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) Shares Sold by National Asset Management Inc.

National Asset Management Inc. decreased its position in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRIGet Rating) by 57.5% during the 1st quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 1,553 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock after selling 2,102 shares during the quarter. National Asset Management Inc.’s holdings in Darden Restaurants were worth $208,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in DRI. Ardevora Asset Management LLP acquired a new stake in Darden Restaurants in the first quarter valued at approximately $61,582,000. Capital Research Global Investors increased its stake in Darden Restaurants by 41.2% in the fourth quarter. Capital Research Global Investors now owns 1,426,520 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $214,886,000 after purchasing an additional 416,048 shares during the last quarter. Point72 Asset Management L.P. purchased a new position in Darden Restaurants in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $30,928,000. Marshall Wace LLP purchased a new position in Darden Restaurants in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $27,464,000. Finally, State Street Corp increased its stake in Darden Restaurants by 3.2% in the fourth quarter. State Street Corp now owns 5,513,669 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $830,579,000 after purchasing an additional 171,741 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 90.71% of the company’s stock.

Insider Buying and Selling at Darden Restaurants

In other news, Director Nana Mensah sold 567 shares of Darden Restaurants stock in a transaction on Friday, July 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $117.03, for a total transaction of $66,356.01. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 10 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,170.30. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. In other news, Director Timothy J. Wilmott purchased 10,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, June 28th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $120.00 per share, with a total value of $1,200,000.00. Following the purchase, the director now directly owns 27,094 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,251,280. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Nana Mensah sold 567 shares of Darden Restaurants stock in a transaction on Friday, July 15th. The stock was 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 approximately $1,170.30. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.95% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades

Several equities analysts have commented on the stock. Stifel Nicolaus reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Friday, June 24th. KeyCorp dropped their price target on shares of Darden Restaurants from $160.00 to $136.00 in a research note on Wednesday, June 15th. UBS Group lowered their target price on shares of Darden Restaurants from $172.00 to $155.00 in a research report on Friday, June 17th. Royal Bank of Canada lowered their target price on shares of Darden Restaurants from $151.00 to $143.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, June 24th. Finally, Morgan Stanley lowered their target price on shares of Darden Restaurants from $161.00 to $148.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, June 24th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seventeen have issued a buy rating to the stock. Based on data from MarketBeat, the company has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average target price of $141.65.

Darden Restaurants Price Performance

Darden Restaurants stock opened at $124.49 on Monday. Darden Restaurants, Inc. has a one year low of $110.96 and a one year high of $164.28. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.41, a quick ratio of 0.49 and a current ratio of 0.64. The business has a fifty day moving average of $118.98 and a two-hundred day moving average of $128.70. The company has a market cap of $15.43 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.82, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.52 and a beta of 1.31.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRIGet Rating) last released its earnings results on Thursday, June 23rd. The restaurant operator reported $2.24 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.21 by $0.03. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 39.05% and a net margin of 9.89%. The company had revenue of $2.60 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.54 billion. As a group, analysts predict that Darden Restaurants, Inc. will post 7.7 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Darden Restaurants declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, June 23rd that permits the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the restaurant operator to buy up to 6.6% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are often a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

Darden Restaurants Increases Dividend

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, August 1st. Shareholders of record on Friday, July 8th will be issued a $1.21 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, July 7th. This represents a $4.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.89%. This is an increase from Darden Restaurants’s previous quarterly dividend of $1.10. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 65.41%.

Darden Restaurants Company Profile

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Darden Restaurants, Inc, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates full-service restaurants in the United States and Canada. As of May 30, 2021, it owned and operated 1,834 restaurants, which included 875 under the Olive Garden, 533 under the LongHorn Steakhouse, 170 under the Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen, 81 under the Yard House, 63 under The Capital Grille, 44 under the Seasons 52, 42 under the Bahama Breeze, and 26 under the Eddie V's Prime Seafood brands.

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

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