Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) declared a quarterly dividend on Thursday, September 19th, RTT News reports. Shareholders of record on Thursday, October 10th will be given a dividend of 0.88 per share by the restaurant operator on Friday, November 1st. This represents a $3.52 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.04%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, October 9th.

Darden Restaurants has raised its dividend by an average of 7.9% annually over the last three years and has increased its dividend every year for the last 2 years. Darden Restaurants has a payout ratio of 62.5% meaning its dividend is sufficiently covered by earnings. Research analysts expect Darden Restaurants to earn $6.79 per share next year, which means the company should continue to be able to cover its $3.52 annual dividend with an expected future payout ratio of 51.8%.

NYSE DRI opened at $115.79 on Tuesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.18, a current ratio of 0.43 and a quick ratio of 0.30. Darden Restaurants has a 1 year low of $95.83 and a 1 year high of $128.41. The company has a market capitalization of $14.27 billion, a PE ratio of 19.90, a P/E/G ratio of 2.06 and a beta of 0.36. The company has a fifty day moving average of $120.86 and a two-hundred day moving average of $120.31.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, September 19th. The restaurant operator reported $1.38 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.36 by $0.02. Darden Restaurants had a net margin of 8.36% and a return on equity of 31.37%. The company had revenue of $2.13 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.13 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.34 earnings per share. Darden Restaurants’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.5% on a year-over-year basis. On average, research analysts expect that Darden Restaurants will post 6.38 earnings per share for the current year.

A number of brokerages have recently commented on DRI. KeyCorp began coverage on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Tuesday, July 23rd. They issued an “overweight” rating and a $140.00 target price for the company. Citigroup reduced their target price on shares of Darden Restaurants from $144.00 to $138.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, September 24th. SunTrust Banks reduced their target price on shares of Darden Restaurants from $141.00 to $139.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a report on Friday, September 20th. ValuEngine cut shares of Darden Restaurants from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, August 1st. Finally, Stephens cut shares of Darden Restaurants from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and set a $121.75 target price for the company. in a report on Friday, June 28th. Eleven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $126.85.

In related news, SVP Douglas J. Milanes sold 1,600 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $119.05, for a total transaction of $190,480.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 6,793 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $808,706.65. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CFO Ricardo Cardenas sold 14,128 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, July 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $124.87, for a total transaction of $1,764,163.36. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 23,848 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,977,899.76. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 28,728 shares of company stock valued at $3,565,803 over the last three months. 0.47% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

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.

Read More: S&P 500 Index

Dividend History for Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI)

Receive News & Ratings for Darden Restaurants Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Darden Restaurants and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.