Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) – Research analysts at Truist Securities lowered their FY2022 earnings estimates for shares of Darden Restaurants in a report released on Wednesday, January 12th. Truist Securities analyst J. Bartlett now forecasts that the restaurant operator will post earnings per share of $7.60 for the year, down from their prior estimate of $7.67. Truist Securities currently has a “Buy” rating and a $180.00 target price on the stock. Truist Securities also issued estimates for Darden Restaurants’ Q4 2022 earnings at $2.32 EPS and FY2023 earnings at $8.61 EPS.
Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Friday, December 17th. The restaurant operator reported $1.48 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.43 by $0.05. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 30.83% and a net margin of 10.73%. The business had revenue of $2.27 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.23 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.74 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 37.2% on a year-over-year basis.
Darden Restaurants stock opened at $143.00 on Friday. Darden Restaurants has a twelve month low of $110.89 and a twelve month high of $164.28. The stock’s fifty day simple moving average is $146.91 and its 200-day simple moving average is $147.34. The company has a current ratio of 0.85, a quick ratio of 0.72 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.37. The firm has a market capitalization of $18.26 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.46, a P/E/G ratio of 1.90 and a beta of 1.46.
Darden Restaurants declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback plan on Thursday, September 23rd that authorizes the company to repurchase $750.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the restaurant operator to repurchase up to 3.6% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are typically an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, February 1st. Stockholders of record on Monday, January 10th will be paid a dividend of $1.10 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, January 7th. This represents a $4.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.08%. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 62.95%.
In other news, Director M Shan Atkins sold 3,123 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, December 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $151.11, for a total transaction of $471,916.53. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CEO Eugene I. Lee, Jr. sold 76,725 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, January 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $152.38, for a total transaction of $11,691,355.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.95% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Monumental Financial Group Inc. acquired a new stake in Darden Restaurants in the second quarter valued at about $25,000. Tompkins Financial Corp acquired a new stake in Darden Restaurants in the third quarter valued at about $31,000. FourThought Financial LLC acquired a new stake in Darden Restaurants in the fourth quarter valued at about $31,000. Hillsdale Investment Management Inc. acquired a new stake in Darden Restaurants in the third quarter valued at about $32,000. Finally, Glassman Wealth Services lifted its position in Darden Restaurants by 220.5% in the third quarter. Glassman Wealth Services now owns 234 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $35,000 after purchasing an additional 161 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 89.13% of the company’s stock.
About Darden Restaurants
Darden Restaurants, Inc is a full-service restaurant company, which engages in the provision of restaurant services. It operates through the following segments: Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Fine Dining, and Other Business. The Olive Garden segment is the largest full-service dining Italian restaurant operator.
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