Synovus Financial Corp Raises Stake in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (DRI)

Synovus Financial Corp increased its position in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) by 0.8% in the 4th quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The institutional investor owned 124,736 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock after purchasing an additional 942 shares during the quarter. Synovus Financial Corp’s holdings in Darden Restaurants were worth $11,980,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently modified their holdings of the company. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in Darden Restaurants by 4.1% during the 4th quarter. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC now owns 16,144 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $1,550,000 after purchasing an additional 636 shares during the last quarter. Advisor Partners LLC boosted its stake in Darden Restaurants by 13.6% during the 3rd quarter. Advisor Partners LLC now owns 5,610 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $442,000 after purchasing an additional 673 shares during the last quarter. CIBC Asset Management Inc boosted its stake in Darden Restaurants by 3.9% during the 3rd quarter. CIBC Asset Management Inc now owns 18,038 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $1,421,000 after purchasing an additional 674 shares during the last quarter. BDO Wealth Advisors LLC boosted its stake in Darden Restaurants by 6.1% during the 3rd quarter. BDO Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 11,850 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $934,000 after purchasing an additional 685 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Juncture Wealth Strategies LLC boosted its stake in Darden Restaurants by 7.7% during the 4th quarter. Juncture Wealth Strategies LLC now owns 9,800 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $941,000 after purchasing an additional 700 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 85.05% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) opened at $96.52 on Monday. The company has a current ratio of 0.34, a quick ratio of 0.20 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.47. Darden Restaurants, Inc. has a 1-year low of $73.81 and a 1-year high of $100.11. The stock has a market cap of $11,923.48, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.87, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.87 and a beta of 0.16.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, December 19th. The restaurant operator reported $0.73 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.70 by $0.03. Darden Restaurants had a net margin of 6.46% and a return on equity of 26.24%. The business had revenue of $1.88 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.85 billion. equities research analysts forecast that Darden Restaurants, Inc. will post 4.76 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, February 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, January 10th were issued a dividend of $0.63 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, January 9th. This represents a $2.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.61%. Darden Restaurants’s payout ratio is 64.62%.

In other Darden Restaurants news, insider Eugene I. Lee, Jr. sold 59,783 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, January 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $96.80, for a total transaction of $5,786,994.40. Following the sale, the insider now owns 164,396 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $15,913,532.80. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, CFO Ricardo Cardenas sold 10,783 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, January 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $97.17, for a total transaction of $1,047,784.11. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 20,046 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,947,869.82. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 74,866 shares of company stock worth $7,252,094 in the last three months. Insiders own 0.63% of the company’s stock.

DRI has been the subject of a number of analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Darden Restaurants from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, October 30th. Wells Fargo & Co reiterated a “market perform” rating and set a $99.00 price target (up previously from $92.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Tuesday, January 9th. Barclays reiterated an “overweight” rating and set a $116.00 price target (up previously from $108.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Tuesday, January 16th. Argus upgraded Darden Restaurants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their price target for the company from $95.67 to $108.00 in a research note on Thursday, December 21st. Finally, Credit Suisse Group reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $95.00 price target on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Friday, January 12th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have issued a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $96.95.

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About Darden Restaurants

Darden Restaurants, Inc is a full-service restaurant company. The Company owned and operated 1,536 restaurants through its subsidiaries in the United States and Canada, as of May 29, 2016. The Company’s segments include Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Fine Dining (which includes The Capital Grille, and Eddie V’s Prime Seafood and Wildfish Seafood Grille (Eddie V’s)) and Other Business (which includes Yard House, Seasons 52, Bahama Breeze, consumer-packaged goods and franchise revenues).

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

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