The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company Raises Stake in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI)

The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company lifted its position in shares of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) by 12.1% during the first quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 134,780 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock after purchasing an additional 14,550 shares during the quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company’s holdings in Darden Restaurants were worth $16,372,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other large investors have also recently modified their holdings of the company. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC raised its stake in Darden Restaurants by 0.3% during the third quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 273,563 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $30,417,000 after purchasing an additional 751 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc raised its stake in Darden Restaurants by 5.2% during the third 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 period. Advisors Asset Management Inc. raised its stake in Darden Restaurants by 7.8% during the fourth quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. now owns 9,461 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $945,000 after purchasing an additional 684 shares during the period. BB&T Securities LLC raised its stake in Darden Restaurants by 25.0% during the fourth quarter. BB&T Securities LLC now owns 15,756 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $1,573,000 after purchasing an additional 3,156 shares during the period. Finally, Daiwa Securities Group Inc. raised its stake 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 purchasing an additional 150 shares during the period. 88.86% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

In related news, SVP John W. Madonna sold 330 shares of Darden Restaurants 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 sale, the senior vice president now owns 1,680 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $199,516.80. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider Eugene I. Lee, Jr. sold 73,152 shares of Darden Restaurants stock in a transaction on Monday, March 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $118.61, for a total transaction of $8,676,558.72. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 190,025 shares in the company, valued at approximately $22,538,865.25. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.65% of the company’s stock.

A number of research firms have weighed in on DRI. UBS Group began coverage on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Friday, April 26th. They set a “buy” rating and a $133.00 price target on the stock. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Darden Restaurants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $133.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Thursday, May 9th. Wedbush increased their price target on shares of Darden Restaurants from $120.00 to $130.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Thursday, May 23rd. Maxim Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $132.00 price target (up previously from $128.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Thursday. Finally, Loop Capital increased their price target on shares of Darden Restaurants to $140.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, March 22nd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and nineteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Darden Restaurants presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $130.12.

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

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, March 21st. The restaurant operator reported $1.80 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.75 by $0.05. Darden Restaurants had a net margin of 8.08% and a return on equity of 30.28%. The business had revenue of $2.25 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.24 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.71 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.5% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts expect that Darden Restaurants, Inc. will post 5.78 earnings per share for the current year.

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

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