Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) Shares Sold by Commonwealth Equity Services LLC

Commonwealth Equity Services LLC lessened its stake in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) by 8.1% in the 1st quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 32,278 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock after selling 2,854 shares during the period. Commonwealth Equity Services LLC’s holdings in Darden Restaurants were worth $3,920,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of DRI. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund raised its position in Darden Restaurants by 14,173.2% in the 4th quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 4,131,508 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $41,000 after purchasing an additional 4,102,562 shares during the last quarter. Norges Bank bought a new position in Darden Restaurants in the 4th quarter worth approximately $133,817,000. FMR LLC raised its position in Darden Restaurants by 211.9% in the 4th quarter. FMR LLC now owns 1,547,369 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $154,520,000 after purchasing an additional 1,051,240 shares during the last quarter. American Century Companies Inc. raised its position in Darden Restaurants by 274.3% in the 4th quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 1,349,208 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $134,732,000 after purchasing an additional 988,753 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc raised its position in Darden Restaurants by 5.2% in the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 13,687,194 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $1,521,879,000 after purchasing an additional 673,563 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 88.86% of the company’s stock.

In other news, insider Eugene I. Lee, Jr. sold 73,152 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, March 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $118.61, for a total value of $8,676,558.72. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 190,025 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $22,538,865.25. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, SVP John W. Madonna sold 330 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, March 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $118.76, for a total transaction of $39,190.80. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 1,680 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $199,516.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.65% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

DRI has been the subject of several research analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Darden Restaurants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $133.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Thursday, May 9th. Bank of America set a $130.00 price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, March 22nd. Loop Capital boosted their price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants to $140.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, March 22nd. SunTrust Banks boosted their price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants to $141.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, March 22nd. Finally, BTIG Research boosted their price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants to $134.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, March 22nd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and nineteen have given a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $130.12.

DRI opened at $119.68 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.40, a current ratio of 0.48 and a quick ratio of 0.33. Darden Restaurants, Inc. has a 52 week low of $91.34 and a 52 week high of $125.33. The firm has a market cap of $14.72 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.88, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.81 and a beta of 0.30.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last released its earnings results on Thursday, March 21st. The restaurant operator reported $1.80 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.75 by $0.05. Darden Restaurants had a net margin of 8.08% and a return on equity of 30.28%. The firm had revenue of $2.25 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.24 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.71 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 5.5% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts expect that Darden Restaurants, Inc. will post 5.78 EPS for the current year.

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About Darden Restaurants

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.

Further Reading: What is the Difference Between Common Shares and Convertible Shares?

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

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