Advisors Asset Management Inc. Lowers Stake in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (DRI)

Advisors Asset Management Inc. lowered its stake in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) by 1.7% during the first quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 8,459 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock after selling 145 shares during the period. Advisors Asset Management Inc.’s holdings in Darden Restaurants were worth $708,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of the company. World Asset Management Inc increased its position in Darden Restaurants by 11.9% in the third quarter. World Asset Management Inc now owns 12,927 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $793,000 after buying an additional 1,371 shares during the last quarter. Tokio Marine Asset Management Co. Ltd. increased its position in Darden Restaurants by 43.5% in the third quarter. Tokio Marine Asset Management Co. Ltd. now owns 43,719 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $2,681,000 after buying an additional 13,251 shares during the last quarter. Payden & Rygel increased its position in Darden Restaurants by 18.9% in the third quarter. Payden & Rygel now owns 249,100 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $15,275,000 after buying an additional 39,600 shares during the last quarter. ProShare Advisors LLC increased its position in Darden Restaurants by 0.8% in the third quarter. ProShare Advisors LLC now owns 28,962 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $1,776,000 after buying an additional 233 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Weiss Asset Management LP acquired a new position in Darden Restaurants during the third quarter worth about $236,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 87.64% of the company’s stock.

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

Shares of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) traded up 1.10% during trading on Thursday, hitting $88.17. 775,252 shares of the stock traded hands. Darden Restaurants, Inc. has a 52 week low of $59.50 and a 52 week high of $89.14. The firm has a market cap of $10.96 billion, a P/E ratio of 22.52 and a beta of 0.28. The company has a 50-day moving average of $85.47 and a 200-day moving average of $77.48.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Monday, March 27th. The restaurant operator reported $1.32 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.27 by $0.05. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 25.92% and a net margin of 6.22%. The business had revenue of $1.88 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.87 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.21 earnings per share. Darden Restaurants’s revenue was up 1.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts forecast that Darden Restaurants, Inc. will post $3.99 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, May 1st. Investors of record on Monday, April 10th were issued a dividend of $0.56 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, April 6th. This represents a $2.24 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.57%. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 65.50%.

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A number of research firms have issued reports on DRI. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Darden Restaurants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $92.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Friday, March 31st. BMO Capital Markets upped their target price on shares of Darden Restaurants from $80.00 to $81.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research report on Thursday, March 30th. Maxim Group upped their target price on shares of Darden Restaurants from $80.00 to $87.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, March 30th. Jefferies Group LLC upped their price target on Darden Restaurants from $72.00 to $80.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 29th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group AG reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $74.00 price target on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Wednesday, March 29th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have issued a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $78.00.

In other Darden Restaurants news, insider Eugene I. Lee, Jr. sold 98,124 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, March 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $83.19, for a total value of $8,162,935.56. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 177,737 shares in the company, valued at approximately $14,785,941.03. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider David C. George sold 84,283 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, April 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $83.13, for a total value of $7,006,445.79. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 78,010 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,484,971.30. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 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).

12 Month Chart for NYSE:DRI

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