DnB Asset Management AS Acquires Shares of 11,933 Darden Restaurants, Inc. (DRI)

DnB Asset Management AS purchased a new position in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) during the second quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor purchased 11,933 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock, valued at approximately $1,079,000.

A number of other large investors also recently modified their holdings of DRI. Van ECK Associates Corp increased its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 4.6% in the first quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp now owns 1,625 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $136,000 after buying an additional 71 shares in the last quarter. Ledyard National Bank increased its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 399.4% in the first quarter. Ledyard National Bank now owns 1,638 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $137,000 after buying an additional 1,310 shares in the last quarter. First Manhattan Co. increased its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 2.8% in the first quarter. First Manhattan Co. now owns 2,754 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $168,000 after buying an additional 75 shares in the last quarter. MEMBERS Trust Co acquired a new stake in shares of Darden Restaurants during the first quarter valued at $201,000. Finally, Whittier Trust Co. boosted its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 5.0% in the first quarter. Whittier Trust Co. now owns 2,477 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $207,000 after buying an additional 117 shares during the last quarter. 95.48% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) traded down 2.32% during trading on Tuesday, reaching $81.83. The company had a trading volume of 2,403,667 shares. The firm has a market capitalization of $10.26 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.52 and a beta of 0.27. The company has a 50-day moving average of $88.32 and a 200-day moving average of $82.83. Darden Restaurants, Inc. has a 52-week low of $60.16 and a 52-week high of $95.22.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, June 27th. The restaurant operator reported $1.18 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.15 by $0.03. Darden Restaurants had a net margin of 6.68% and a return on equity of 26.18%. The firm had revenue of $1.94 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.86 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.10 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.1% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts expect that Darden Restaurants, Inc. will post $4.47 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, August 1st. Stockholders of record on Monday, July 10th were paid a $0.63 dividend. This is a positive change from Darden Restaurants’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.56. This represents a $2.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.08%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, July 6th. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio is currently 66.14%.

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Several brokerages recently weighed in on DRI. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. boosted their price objective on Darden Restaurants in a research report on Monday, June 26th. Bank of America Corporation set a $80.00 price target on Darden Restaurants and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, June 26th. Canaccord Genuity reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $102.00 price target on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Friday, June 9th. Zacks Investment Research raised Darden Restaurants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $100.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, July 11th. Finally, BidaskClub lowered Darden Restaurants from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Sunday, July 16th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have assigned a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $84.78.

In related news, insider Eugene I. Lee, Jr. sold 93,125 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, June 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $91.58, for a total transaction of $8,528,387.50. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 165,062 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $15,116,377.96. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 0.69% of the company’s stock.

Darden Restaurants Company Profile

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).

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

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