First Financial Bank Trust Division reduced its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) by 1.2% in the 1st quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The firm owned 8,276 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock after selling 103 shares during the quarter. First Financial Bank Trust Division’s holdings in Darden Restaurants were worth $1,175,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
A number of other hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of DRI. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in Darden Restaurants during the 4th quarter valued at $192,637,000. Nuveen Asset Management LLC lifted its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 89.3% in the fourth quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 1,185,038 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $141,161,000 after acquiring an additional 558,916 shares in the last quarter. D1 Capital Partners L.P. acquired a new stake in shares of Darden Restaurants during the fourth quarter valued at $138,877,000. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its position in Darden Restaurants by 2.0% during the 4th quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 994,166 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $118,425,000 after purchasing an additional 19,462 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Boston Partners raised its stake in Darden Restaurants by 1.4% in the 4th quarter. Boston Partners now owns 768,899 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $91,591,000 after purchasing an additional 10,498 shares during the last quarter. 89.35% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Shares of DRI traded down $1.76 during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $143.99. 6,869 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,656,961. The stock has a fifty day simple moving average of $140.09 and a 200 day simple moving average of $122.37. Darden Restaurants, Inc. has a 12-month low of $56.51 and a 12-month high of $149.73. The company has a quick ratio of 0.59, a current ratio of 0.72 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.38. The firm has a market cap of $18.77 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of -151.82, a P/E/G ratio of 2.31 and a beta of 1.48.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, May 3rd. Stockholders of record on Friday, April 9th will be paid a dividend of $0.88 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, April 8th. This is an increase from Darden Restaurants’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.37. This represents a $3.52 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.44%. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 47.28%.
In related news, insider Daniel J. Kiernan sold 16,198 shares of Darden Restaurants stock in a transaction on Friday, February 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $132.70, for a total value of $2,149,474.60. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 21,512 shares in the company, valued at $2,854,642.40. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, SVP Susan M. Connelly sold 7,783 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, April 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $144.83, for a total transaction of $1,127,211.89. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 10,143 shares in the company, valued at $1,469,010.69. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 134,254 shares of company stock worth $18,225,231. Corporate insiders own 1.00% of the company’s stock.
DRI has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. Credit Suisse Group boosted their price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants from $141.00 to $160.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Thursday, April 1st. MKM Partners reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Monday, March 22nd. Robert W. Baird restated a “buy” rating on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Sunday, February 21st. BMO Capital Markets upped their target price on Darden Restaurants from $115.00 to $140.00 in a research note on Friday, March 26th. Finally, Oppenheimer raised their price target on Darden Restaurants from $140.00 to $165.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Monday, March 22nd. Ten analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty-one have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. Darden Restaurants currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $138.06.
About Darden Restaurants
Darden Restaurants, Inc, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates full-service restaurants in the United States and Canada. As of May 31, 2020, it owned and operated approximately 1,804 restaurants, which included 868 under the Olive Garden, 522 under the LongHorn Steakhouse, 165 under the Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen, 81 under the Yard House, 60 under The Capital Grille, 44 under the Seasons 52, 41 under the Bahama Breeze, and 23 under the Eddie V's Prime Seafood brands.
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