Jones Financial Companies Lllp Increases Stock Holdings in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI)

Jones Financial Companies Lllp increased its stake in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRIFree Report) by 509.5% in the 4th quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 256 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock after acquiring an additional 214 shares during the quarter. Jones Financial Companies Lllp’s holdings in Darden Restaurants were worth $42,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other large investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Fortitude Family Office LLC acquired a new position in shares of Darden Restaurants during the 4th quarter worth about $29,000. Hartford Financial Management Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 65.1% in the fourth quarter. Hartford Financial Management Inc. now owns 180 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $30,000 after acquiring an additional 71 shares during the last quarter. Tennessee Valley Asset Management Partners purchased a new stake in shares of Darden Restaurants during the fourth quarter worth approximately $33,000. McGlone Suttner Wealth Management Inc. acquired a new position in Darden Restaurants in the 4th quarter valued at $35,000. Finally, Union Savings Bank lifted its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 44.0% in the 4th quarter. Union Savings Bank now owns 216 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $35,000 after purchasing an additional 66 shares in the last quarter. 93.64% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Wall Street Analysts Forecast Growth

Several equities analysts have recently weighed in on the stock. Oppenheimer decreased their price target on shares of Darden Restaurants from $186.00 to $182.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, March 22nd. Bank of America upped their price target on Darden Restaurants from $193.00 to $198.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, March 18th. Citigroup reduced their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $192.00 to $191.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday. Wedbush lowered their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $187.00 to $181.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, March 22nd. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut their target price on Darden Restaurants from $176.00 to $165.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a research note on Tuesday, May 28th. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and sixteen have issued a buy rating to the company. According to data from MarketBeat, the company currently has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average target price of $177.90.

Check Out Our Latest Research Report on Darden Restaurants

Darden Restaurants Stock Performance

Shares of Darden Restaurants stock opened at $150.11 on Friday. The stock has a market capitalization of $17.92 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.60, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.53 and a beta of 1.29. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.63, a current ratio of 0.39 and a quick ratio of 0.25. The business has a 50-day moving average of $152.79 and a 200 day moving average of $160.13. Darden Restaurants, Inc. has a 12 month low of $133.36 and a 12 month high of $176.84.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRIGet Free Report) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, March 21st. The restaurant operator reported $2.62 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $2.63 by ($0.01). Darden Restaurants had a net margin of 9.24% and a return on equity of 49.94%. The business had revenue of $2.97 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.02 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $2.34 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.8% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, sell-side analysts forecast that Darden Restaurants, Inc. will post 8.85 earnings per share for the current year.

Darden Restaurants Announces Dividend

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, May 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, April 10th were given a dividend of $1.31 per share. This represents a $5.24 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.49%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, April 9th. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio is currently 61.43%.

Darden Restaurants declared that its Board of Directors has approved a share repurchase program on Thursday, March 21st that permits the company to buyback $1.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization permits the restaurant operator to buy up to 5% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are usually an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

Insider Activity

In other Darden Restaurants news, Director William S. Simon sold 1,219 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, April 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $158.21, for a total transaction of $192,857.99. Following the sale, the director now owns 6,281 shares in the company, valued at approximately $993,717.01. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. In related news, SVP Matthew R. Broad sold 4,707 shares of Darden Restaurants stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, April 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $156.15, for a total value of $734,998.05. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 19,179 shares in the company, valued at $2,994,800.85. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Director William S. Simon sold 1,219 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, April 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $158.21, for a total transaction of $192,857.99. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 6,281 shares in the company, valued at $993,717.01. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 13,599 shares of company stock worth $2,197,891. Corporate insiders own 0.85% of the company’s stock.

Darden Restaurants Company Profile

(Free Report)

Darden Restaurants, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, owns and operates full-service restaurants in the United States and Canada. It operates under Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen, Yard House, The Capital Grille, Seasons 52, Bahama Breeze, Eddie V's Prime Seafood, and Capital Burger brand names.

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

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