Candriam Luxembourg S.C.A. grew its holdings in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) by 38.4% during the 4th quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 18,363 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock after purchasing an additional 5,093 shares during the quarter. Candriam Luxembourg S.C.A.’s holdings in Darden Restaurants were worth $1,834,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Several other hedge funds have also added to or reduced their stakes in the company. LPL Financial LLC grew its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 0.8% in the fourth quarter. LPL Financial LLC now owns 12,467 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $1,245,000 after purchasing an additional 98 shares during the last quarter. Hartford Investment Management Co. boosted its position in Darden Restaurants by 0.6% during the fourth quarter. Hartford Investment Management Co. now owns 20,754 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $2,072,000 after acquiring an additional 117 shares during the last quarter. Daiwa Securities Group Inc. boosted its position in Darden Restaurants by 2.3% during the fourth quarter. Daiwa Securities Group Inc. now owns 6,592 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $658,000 after acquiring an additional 150 shares during the last quarter. Simmons Bank boosted its position in Darden Restaurants by 1.2% during the fourth quarter. Simmons Bank now owns 13,240 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $1,322,000 after acquiring an additional 157 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Fulton Bank N.A. boosted its position in Darden Restaurants by 2.2% during the fourth quarter. Fulton Bank N.A. now owns 8,236 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $823,000 after acquiring an additional 179 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 90.85% of the company’s stock.
In other news, Director William S. Simon sold 1,565 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, February 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $104.90, for a total value of $164,168.50. Following the transaction, the director now owns 10,248 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,075,015.20. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. 0.65% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, March 21st. The restaurant operator reported $1.80 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.75 by $0.05. The company had revenue of $2.25 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.24 billion. Darden Restaurants had a net margin of 8.08% and a return on equity of 30.28%. Darden Restaurants’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $1.71 EPS. Sell-side analysts forecast that Darden Restaurants, Inc. will post 5.79 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, May 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, April 10th will be issued a $0.75 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, April 9th. This represents a $3.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.53%. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 13.10%.
DRI has been the topic of a number of analyst reports. Wells Fargo & Co raised their target price on shares of Darden Restaurants from $108.00 to $109.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research report on Thursday, December 6th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Darden Restaurants from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, December 4th. Robert W. Baird decreased their target price on shares of Darden Restaurants from $120.00 to $115.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, December 19th. Mizuho raised their target price on shares of Darden Restaurants from $125.00 to $130.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday. Finally, Morgan Stanley raised their target price on shares of Darden Restaurants from $112.00 to $121.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Friday. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and twenty-one have given a buy rating to the company. Darden Restaurants presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $125.96.
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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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