Royal London Asset Management Ltd. acquired a new position in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) during the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The fund acquired 55,231 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock, valued at approximately $5,914,000.
Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Segall Bryant & Hamill LLC bought a new stake in shares of Darden Restaurants in the 1st quarter worth $247,000. Carillon Tower Advisers Inc. raised its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 339.4% in the 2nd quarter. Carillon Tower Advisers Inc. now owns 246,050 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $26,342,000 after buying an additional 190,050 shares in the last quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group raised its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 94.3% in the 2nd quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 175,802 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $18,987,000 after buying an additional 85,321 shares in the last quarter. Gradient Investments LLC raised its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 4.7% in the 2nd quarter. Gradient Investments LLC now owns 98,594 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $10,556,000 after buying an additional 4,393 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Swiss National Bank raised its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 2.2% in the 2nd quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 667,441 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $71,456,000 after buying an additional 14,100 shares in the last quarter. 89.45% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
In other news, SVP Douglas J. Milanes sold 2,186 shares of Darden Restaurants stock in a transaction 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 transaction, the senior vice president now owns 792 shares in the company, valued at $87,959.52. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director William S. Simon sold 2,418 shares of Darden Restaurants stock in a transaction on Friday, July 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $112.09, for a total value of $271,033.62. Following the transaction, the director now owns 12,666 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,419,731.94. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.65% of the company’s stock.
Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, September 20th. The restaurant operator reported $1.34 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping 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 company had revenue of $2.06 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.03 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.99 earnings per share. Darden Restaurants’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.5% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts predict that Darden Restaurants, Inc. will post 5.63 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, November 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, October 10th will be issued a dividend of $0.75 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, October 9th. This represents a $3.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.67%. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio is 39.29%.
A number of research firms have recently commented on DRI. Canaccord Genuity boosted their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $115.00 to $120.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, June 22nd. ValuEngine raised Darden Restaurants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, June 22nd. Stephens boosted their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $105.00 to $125.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, June 22nd. Argus boosted their price objective on Darden Restaurants to $240.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, September 13th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research lowered Darden Restaurants from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and fifteen have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $120.09.
Darden Restaurants Company Profile
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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