Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) declared a quarterly dividend on Thursday, September 20th, RTT News reports. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, October 10th will be given a dividend of 0.75 per share by the restaurant operator on Thursday, November 1st. This represents a $3.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.81%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, October 9th.

Darden Restaurants has raised its dividend payment by an average of 2.7% per year over the last three years. Darden Restaurants has a dividend payout ratio of 53.3% indicating that its dividend is sufficiently covered by earnings. Research analysts expect Darden Restaurants to earn $6.16 per share next year, which means the company should continue to be able to cover its $3.00 annual dividend with an expected future payout ratio of 48.7%.

Darden Restaurants stock traded up $2.71 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $106.76. The stock had a trading volume of 1,669,483 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,525,153. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.41, a quick ratio of 0.26 and a current ratio of 0.41. The firm has a market capitalization of $13.74 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.20, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.11 and a beta of 0.17. Darden Restaurants has a 1-year low of $78.83 and a 1-year high of $124.00.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, September 20th. The restaurant operator reported $1.34 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.24 by $0.10. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 30.32% and a net margin of 7.84%. The business had revenue of $2.06 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.03 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.99 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.5% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, sell-side analysts forecast that Darden Restaurants will post 5.63 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, SVP Douglas J. Milanes sold 2,186 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $111.06, for a total transaction of $242,777.16. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 792 shares in the company, valued at approximately $87,959.52. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, COO David C. George sold 55,671 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, October 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $108.24, for a total value of $6,025,829.04. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 95,236 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $10,308,344.64. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 118,545 shares of company stock valued at $13,103,896. Insiders own 0.65% of the company’s stock.

A number of analysts have issued reports on the company. Robert W. Baird lowered Darden Restaurants from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, September 10th. Argus raised their price objective on Darden Restaurants to $240.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, September 13th. Morgan Stanley raised their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $103.00 to $110.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a report on Thursday, September 13th. Goldman Sachs Group upgraded Darden Restaurants from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price objective for the stock from $106.00 to $130.00 in a report on Tuesday, September 11th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Maxim Group restated a “hold” rating and issued a $112.00 price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Thursday, September 20th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and sixteen have given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $119.65.

About Darden Restaurants

Darden Restaurants, Inc, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates full-service restaurants in the United States and Canada. As of May 27, 2018, it owned and operated approximately 1,746 restaurants under the Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen, Yard House, The Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52, and Eddie V's brands.

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Dividend History for Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI)

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