Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) Shares Sold by Inverness Counsel LLC NY

Inverness Counsel LLC NY lessened its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) by 12.6% in the fourth quarter, Holdings Channel.com reports. The fund owned 273,485 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock after selling 39,505 shares during the quarter. Darden Restaurants comprises about 1.4% of Inverness Counsel LLC NY’s holdings, making the stock its 29th biggest position. Inverness Counsel LLC NY’s holdings in Darden Restaurants were worth $29,813,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other large investors also recently made changes to their positions in DRI. BlackRock Inc. lifted its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 23.3% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 13,792,587 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $1,678,972,000 after acquiring an additional 2,605,688 shares during the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 17.2% in the fourth quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 2,388,647 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $278,111,000 after purchasing an additional 350,676 shares in the last quarter. PGGM Investments lifted its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 21.8% in the third quarter. PGGM Investments now owns 446,221 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $52,752,000 after purchasing an additional 79,908 shares in the last quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. lifted its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 39.6% in the third quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 276,098 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $32,518,000 after purchasing an additional 78,360 shares in the last quarter. Finally, California Public Employees Retirement System lifted its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 8.0% in the third quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 1,037,808 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $122,690,000 after purchasing an additional 76,773 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 90.04% of the company’s stock.

In other Darden Restaurants news, SVP Douglas J. Milanes sold 791 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, January 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $113.32, for a total transaction of $89,636.12. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 6,002 shares in the company, valued at $680,146.64. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Charles M. Sonsteby bought 1,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, December 31st. The stock was purchased at an average price of $112.26 per share, with a total value of $168,390.00. 0.47% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Shares of NYSE:DRI traded up $0.14 during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $122.00. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 477 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,432,055. The stock has a market capitalization of $14.80 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.24, a PEG ratio of 2.05 and a beta of 0.33. The stock’s 50 day simple moving average is $114.17 and its 200 day simple moving average is $116.64. Darden Restaurants, Inc. has a fifty-two week low of $106.75 and a fifty-two week high of $128.41. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.30, a quick ratio of 0.21 and a current ratio of 0.34.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last released its earnings results on Thursday, December 19th. The restaurant operator reported $1.12 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.07 by $0.05. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 32.25% and a net margin of 7.23%. The business had revenue of $2.06 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.06 billion. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.92 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.2% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, analysts anticipate that Darden Restaurants, Inc. will post 6.38 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, February 3rd. Investors of record on Friday, January 10th were given a dividend of $0.88 per share. This represents a $3.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.89%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, January 9th. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 60.48%.

A number of research firms have recently issued reports on DRI. Argus restated a “hold” rating on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Friday, December 27th. Citigroup restated an “outperform” rating and issued a $130.00 target price on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Tuesday, December 31st. KeyCorp restated an “overweight” rating and issued a $135.00 target price (down previously from $140.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Monday, December 23rd. Barclays cut their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $130.00 to $126.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a report on Friday, October 18th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada initiated coverage on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Tuesday, December 10th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $135.00 target price on the stock. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Darden Restaurants presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $127.62.

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.

Further Reading: Correction

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

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