Norges Bank Invests $192.64 Million in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI)

Norges Bank purchased a new stake in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) during the 4th quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm purchased 1,617,168 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock, valued at approximately $192,637,000.

Several other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in DRI. Nuveen Asset Management LLC boosted its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 89.3% in the 4th quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 1,185,038 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $141,161,000 after purchasing an additional 558,916 shares during the period. D1 Capital Partners L.P. acquired a new position in Darden Restaurants in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $138,877,000. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 2.0% during the fourth quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 994,166 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $118,425,000 after buying an additional 19,462 shares during the period. Boston Partners boosted its stake in Darden Restaurants by 1.4% during the fourth quarter. Boston Partners now owns 768,899 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $91,591,000 after acquiring an additional 10,498 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 16.6% in the fourth quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. now owns 661,144 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $78,758,000 after buying an additional 93,946 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 89.35% of the company’s stock.

DRI has been the subject of several recent analyst 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 note on Thursday, April 1st. Barclays upped their price target on shares of Darden Restaurants from $131.00 to $145.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Thursday, March 25th. Cowen increased their price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants from $113.00 to $134.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research note on Monday, March 15th. Wells Fargo & Company increased their price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants from $140.00 to $160.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Wednesday, March 24th. Finally, KeyCorp raised their price target on Darden Restaurants from $130.00 to $165.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Thursday, April 1st. Ten equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty-one have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Darden Restaurants currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $138.06.

NYSE:DRI opened at $145.75 on Thursday. Darden Restaurants, Inc. has a 52-week low of $56.51 and a 52-week high of $149.73. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $140.09 and its 200 day moving average price is $122.37. 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 company has a market capitalization of $19.00 billion, a PE ratio of -151.82, a P/E/G ratio of 2.31 and a beta of 1.48.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, March 24th. The restaurant operator reported $0.98 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.69 by $0.29. The company had revenue of $1.73 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.60 billion. Darden Restaurants had a positive return on equity of 10.47% and a negative net margin of 1.70%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 26.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.90 EPS. As a group, sell-side analysts anticipate that Darden Restaurants, Inc. will post 3.3 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, May 3rd. Investors of record on Friday, April 9th will be issued a dividend of $0.88 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, April 8th. This is a boost from Darden Restaurants’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.37. This represents a $3.52 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.42%. Darden Restaurants’s payout ratio is currently 47.28%.

In other Darden Restaurants news, insider Daniel J. Kiernan sold 16,198 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, February 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $132.70, for a total transaction of $2,149,474.60. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 21,512 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,854,642.40. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, CEO Eugene I. Lee, Jr. sold 78,957 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, February 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $132.03, for a total value of $10,424,692.71. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 307,664 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $40,620,877.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 134,254 shares of company stock valued at $18,225,231. 1.00% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Darden Restaurants Profile

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

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