SG Americas Securities LLC reduced its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI – Get Rating) by 49.4% in the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 6,338 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock after selling 6,177 shares during the period. SG Americas Securities LLC’s holdings in Darden Restaurants were worth $843,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
A number of other large investors have also recently bought and sold shares of DRI. James Reed Financial Services Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Darden Restaurants in the 4th quarter valued at about $26,000. Benjamin Edwards Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Darden Restaurants in the 4th quarter valued at about $34,000. Allegheny Financial Group LTD acquired a new stake in shares of Darden Restaurants in the 4th quarter valued at about $40,000. Capital Advisory Group Advisory Services LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Darden Restaurants in the 1st quarter valued at about $40,000. Finally, FSB Premier Wealth Management Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Darden Restaurants in the 4th quarter valued at about $49,000. 90.71% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Wall Street Analyst Weigh In
Several brokerages have recently commented on DRI. TheStreet upgraded Darden Restaurants from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a research note on Monday, May 9th. Credit Suisse Group cut their price target on Darden Restaurants from $175.00 to $152.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, June 24th. UBS Group cut their price target on Darden Restaurants from $172.00 to $155.00 in a research note on Friday, June 17th. Royal Bank of Canada cut their price target on Darden Restaurants from $151.00 to $143.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, June 24th. Finally, Citigroup lifted their price target on Darden Restaurants from $134.00 to $140.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, June 24th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eighteen have given a buy rating to the stock. According to data from MarketBeat, the stock currently has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average price target of $141.65.
Darden Restaurants Trading Up 0.2 %
Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI – Get Rating) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, June 23rd. The restaurant operator reported $2.24 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.21 by $0.03. Darden Restaurants had a net margin of 9.89% and a return on equity of 39.05%. The business had revenue of $2.60 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.54 billion. Sell-side analysts expect that Darden Restaurants, Inc. will post 7.7 earnings per share for the current year.
Darden Restaurants Increases Dividend
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, August 1st. Shareholders of record on Friday, July 8th were issued a dividend of $1.21 per share. This is a boost from Darden Restaurants’s previous quarterly dividend of $1.10. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, July 7th. This represents a $4.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.88%. Darden Restaurants’s payout ratio is presently 65.41%.
Darden Restaurants declared that its board has approved a share repurchase plan on Thursday, June 23rd that permits the company to buyback $1.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization permits the restaurant operator to repurchase up to 6.6% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.
Insider Buying and Selling at Darden Restaurants
In other Darden Restaurants news, Director Timothy J. Wilmott bought 10,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, June 28th. The shares were acquired at an average price of $120.00 per share, with a total value of $1,200,000.00. Following the acquisition, 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 document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. In other news, Director Timothy J. Wilmott purchased 10,000 shares of Darden Restaurants stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, June 28th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $120.00 per share, for a total transaction of $1,200,000.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 27,094 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,251,280. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Nana Mensah sold 567 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, July 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $117.03, for a total transaction of $66,356.01. Following the transaction, the director now owns 10 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,170.30. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.95% of the company’s stock.
Darden Restaurants Profile
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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