Central Valley Advisors LLC Takes Position in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI)

Central Valley Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRIFree Report) in the fourth quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The fund acquired 8,381 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock, valued at approximately $1,377,000.

Several other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of the company. Fortitude Family Office LLC acquired a new stake in Darden Restaurants during the 4th quarter valued at $29,000. Hartford Financial Management Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 65.1% during the 4th quarter. Hartford Financial Management Inc. now owns 180 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $30,000 after buying an additional 71 shares during the last quarter. Tennessee Valley Asset Management Partners bought a new stake in shares of Darden Restaurants during the 4th quarter worth about $33,000. McGlone Suttner Wealth Management Inc. acquired a new position in Darden Restaurants in the 4th quarter valued at about $35,000. Finally, Gables Capital Management Inc. grew its stake in Darden Restaurants by 106.4% in the 4th quarter. Gables Capital Management Inc. now owns 227 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $37,000 after buying an additional 117 shares during the last quarter. 93.64% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Analysts Set New Price Targets

A number of equities research analysts have recently weighed in on DRI shares. BTIG Research raised Darden Restaurants from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $175.00 target price for the company in a report on Friday. Oppenheimer decreased their price target on Darden Restaurants from $186.00 to $182.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, March 22nd. Wedbush dropped their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $187.00 to $181.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, March 22nd. Stephens initiated coverage on Darden Restaurants in a research report on Friday, April 12th. They issued an “equal weight” rating and a $170.00 target price on the stock. Finally, Citigroup dropped their target price on shares of Darden Restaurants from $200.00 to $192.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a report on Friday, March 22nd. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and sixteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. According to data from MarketBeat, Darden Restaurants currently has an average rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average target price of $178.67.

Read Our Latest Report on DRI

Insider Activity at Darden Restaurants

In other Darden Restaurants news, insider Melvin John Martin sold 7,673 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, March 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $165.52, for a total transaction of $1,270,034.96. Following the sale, the insider now owns 17,208 shares in the company, valued at $2,848,268.16. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. In other Darden Restaurants news, insider Melvin John Martin sold 7,673 shares of Darden Restaurants stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, March 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $165.52, for a total transaction of $1,270,034.96. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 17,208 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,848,268.16. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director William S. Simon sold 1,219 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction 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 of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $993,717.01. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 13,599 shares of company stock valued at $2,197,891. Company insiders own 0.85% of the company’s stock.

Darden Restaurants Stock Down 1.5 %

Shares of DRI stock traded down $2.29 on Tuesday, hitting $149.69. The stock had a trading volume of 930,478 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,176,991. Darden Restaurants, Inc. has a 12-month low of $133.36 and a 12-month high of $176.84. The stock has a market cap of $17.87 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.82, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.69 and a beta of 1.27. The business has a 50 day moving average of $158.10 and a 200 day moving average of $160.50. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.63, a current ratio of 0.39 and a quick ratio of 0.25.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRIGet Free Report) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, March 21st. The restaurant operator reported $2.62 earnings per share (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 for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.02 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $2.34 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.8% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, analysts expect that Darden Restaurants, Inc. will post 8.85 EPS for the current year.

Darden Restaurants announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback plan on Thursday, March 21st that authorizes the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the restaurant operator to reacquire up to 5% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are typically a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

Darden Restaurants Dividend Announcement

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, May 1st. Investors of record on Wednesday, April 10th were given a $1.31 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, April 9th. This represents a $5.24 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.50%. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 61.43%.

Darden Restaurants 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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