Smithfield Trust Co. raised its stake in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) by 537.3% during the third quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 1,625 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock after buying an additional 1,370 shares during the period. Smithfield Trust Co.’s holdings in Darden Restaurants were worth $181,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Other large investors also recently modified their holdings of the company. Stratos Wealth Partners LTD. purchased a new stake in shares of Darden Restaurants in the 3rd quarter valued at $149,000. Harvest Fund Management Co. Ltd boosted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 171.8% in the 3rd quarter. Harvest Fund Management Co. Ltd now owns 1,571 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $175,000 after purchasing an additional 993 shares in the last quarter. Moneta Group Investment Advisors LLC boosted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 92.9% in the 2nd quarter. Moneta Group Investment Advisors LLC now owns 1,640 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $176,000 after purchasing an additional 790 shares in the last quarter. Doyle Wealth Management purchased a new stake in shares of Darden Restaurants in the 2nd quarter valued at $202,000. Finally, Summit Securities Group LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Darden Restaurants in the 2nd quarter valued at $203,000. 89.43% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
In other Darden Restaurants news, insider Eugene I. Lee, Jr. sold 60,688 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, September 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $112.63, for a total transaction of $6,835,289.44. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 147,561 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $16,619,795.43. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, COO David C. George sold 55,671 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, October 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $108.24, for a total transaction of $6,025,829.04. Following the completion of the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 95,236 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $10,308,344.64. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.65% of the company’s stock.
Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, September 20th. The restaurant operator reported $1.34 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.24 by $0.10. The business had revenue of $2.06 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.03 billion. Darden Restaurants had a net margin of 7.84% and a return on equity of 30.32%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.99 EPS. As a group, equities research analysts forecast that Darden Restaurants, Inc. will post 5.62 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, November 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, October 10th were given a dividend of $0.75 per share. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, October 9th. This represents a $3.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.67%. Darden Restaurants’s payout ratio is currently 26.20%.
A number of brokerages have recently issued reports on DRI. Loop Capital began coverage on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Wednesday, October 24th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $130.00 price objective for the company. Gordon Haskett began coverage on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Thursday, October 18th. They issued an “underperform” rating and a $94.00 price objective for the company. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Darden Restaurants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $121.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Friday, October 5th. Citigroup cut their price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants from $128.00 to $125.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, October 4th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets cut shares of Darden Restaurants from a “market perform” rating to an “underperform” rating and cut their price objective for the company from $105.00 to $96.00 in a research note on Monday, September 24th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and seventeen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $119.04.
Darden Restaurants 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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