Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) Announces Quarterly Dividend of $1.21

Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRIGet Rating) announced a quarterly dividend on Thursday, September 22nd, RTT News reports. Stockholders of record on Monday, October 10th will be given a dividend of 1.21 per share by the restaurant operator on Tuesday, November 1st. This represents a $4.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.86%.

Darden Restaurants has increased its dividend payment by an average of 13.2% per year over the last three years and has increased its dividend every year for the last 2 years. Darden Restaurants has a dividend payout ratio of 62.9% meaning its dividend is sufficiently covered by earnings. Research analysts expect Darden Restaurants to earn $8.47 per share next year, which means the company should continue to be able to cover its $4.84 annual dividend with an expected future payout ratio of 57.1%.

Darden Restaurants Stock Performance

Shares of DRI stock opened at $125.45 on Friday. The business has a fifty day moving average of $126.54 and a 200 day moving average of $125.52. The firm has a market capitalization of $15.55 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.95, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.73 and a beta of 1.30. Darden Restaurants has a 1 year low of $110.96 and a 1 year high of $164.28. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.41, a current ratio of 0.64 and a quick ratio of 0.49.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRIGet Rating) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, September 22nd. The restaurant operator reported $1.56 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.56. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 39.05% and a net margin of 9.89%. The business had revenue of $2.45 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.47 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.76 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 6.1% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, research analysts expect that Darden Restaurants will post 7.7 earnings per share for the current year.

Insider Buying and Selling

In other news, Director Timothy J. Wilmott purchased 10,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, June 28th. The shares were purchased 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 filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. In related news, Director Timothy J. Wilmott bought 10,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, June 28th. The stock was bought at an average price of $120.00 per share, with a total value of $1,200,000.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 27,094 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,251,280. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, Director Nana Mensah sold 567 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated 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 sale, 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. 0.93% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Institutional Trading of Darden Restaurants

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Cetera Advisor Networks LLC lifted its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 2.6% in the 1st quarter. Cetera Advisor Networks LLC now owns 3,237 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $430,000 after acquiring an additional 83 shares in the last quarter. D.A. Davidson & CO. grew its position in Darden Restaurants by 25.1% in the 1st quarter. D.A. Davidson & CO. now owns 2,001 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $266,000 after purchasing an additional 401 shares during the last quarter. Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan Trust Fund bought a new position in shares of Darden Restaurants during the 1st quarter worth about $150,000. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS lifted its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 4.9% during the 1st quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS now owns 17,090 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $2,272,000 after purchasing an additional 800 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 17.1% during the 1st quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 776,082 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $103,176,000 after purchasing an additional 113,548 shares during the last quarter. 89.62% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Darden Restaurants declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback plan on Thursday, June 23rd that allows the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the restaurant operator to reacquire up to 6.6% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are generally an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades

Several equities research analysts recently issued reports on DRI shares. BMO Capital Markets started coverage on Darden Restaurants in a report on Friday, June 24th. They issued a “hold” rating and a $130.00 price objective on the stock. Piper Sandler decreased their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $153.00 to $150.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, June 24th. Truist Financial cut their target price on Darden Restaurants from $180.00 to $136.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, June 24th. Wedbush boosted their target price on Darden Restaurants from $122.00 to $134.00 in a research report on Thursday. Finally, Robert W. Baird cut their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $160.00 to $146.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, June 21st. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eighteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. According to data from MarketBeat, the stock presently has an average rating of “Moderate Buy” and a consensus target price of $144.14.

About Darden Restaurants

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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 29, 2022, it owned and operated 1,867 restaurants, which included 884 under the Olive Garden brand, 546 under the LongHorn Steakhouse brand name, 172 under the Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen brand, 85 under the Yard House brand name, 62 under The Capital Grille brand, 45 under the Seasons 52 brand name, 42 under the Bahama Breeze brand, 28 under the Eddie V's Prime Seafood brand name, and 3 under the Capital Burger brand; and franchised 60 restaurants comprising 35 under the Olive Garden brand, 18 under the LongHorn Steakhouse brand name, 4 under the Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen brand, 2 under The Capital Grille brand name, and 1 under the Bahama Breeze brand.Darden Restaurants, Inc was founded in 1968 and is based in Orlando, Florida.

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Dividend History for Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI)

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