Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) announced a quarterly dividend on Wednesday, December 12th, RTT News reports. Stockholders of record on Thursday, January 10th will be paid a dividend of 0.75 per share by the restaurant operator on Friday, February 1st. This represents a $3.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.85%.

Darden Restaurants has increased its dividend payment by an average of 2.7% per year over the last three years. Darden Restaurants has a payout ratio of 53.3% indicating that its dividend is sufficiently covered by earnings. Equities research analysts expect Darden Restaurants to earn $6.21 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 48.3%.

Shares of NYSE:DRI opened at $105.31 on Thursday. The stock has a market capitalization of $12.63 billion, a PE ratio of 21.89, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.93 and a beta of 0.17. Darden Restaurants has a 52-week low of $82.38 and a 52-week high of $124.00. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.41, a quick ratio of 0.26 and a current ratio of 0.41.

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

In other Darden Restaurants news, COO David C. George sold 55,671 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, October 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $108.24, for a total transaction of $6,025,829.04. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 95,236 shares in the company, valued at $10,308,344.64. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Eugene I. Lee, Jr. sold 60,688 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $112.63, for a total transaction of $6,835,289.44. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 147,561 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $16,619,795.43. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.65% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several equities research analysts have recently issued reports on the company. Robert W. Baird downgraded Darden Restaurants from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Monday, September 10th. Morgan Stanley raised their price target on Darden Restaurants from $103.00 to $110.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Thursday, September 13th. Argus raised their price target on Darden Restaurants to $240.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, September 13th. Goldman Sachs Group raised Darden Restaurants from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price target for the company from $106.00 to $130.00 in a research report on Tuesday, September 11th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Maxim Group reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $112.00 price target on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Thursday, September 20th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and seventeen have assigned a buy rating to the company. Darden Restaurants presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $119.84.

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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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