Morgan Stanley Lowers Position in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI)

Morgan Stanley cut its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) by 33.0% during the 1st quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 349,745 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock after selling 172,175 shares during the period. Morgan Stanley owned about 0.29% of Darden Restaurants worth $19,046,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in DRI. APG Asset Management N.V. raised its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 42.6% during the first quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 160,246 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $8,727,000 after acquiring an additional 47,900 shares during the period. Polaris Capital Management LLC bought a new stake in Darden Restaurants during the first quarter valued at about $24,621,000. Two Sigma Investments LP bought a new stake in Darden Restaurants during the first quarter valued at about $1,401,000. Balyasny Asset Management LLC bought a new stake in Darden Restaurants during the first quarter valued at about $38,222,000. Finally, MIK Capital LP bought a new stake in Darden Restaurants during the first quarter valued at about $5,692,000. Institutional investors own 88.12% of the company’s stock.

In other news, CEO Eugene I. Lee, Jr. acquired 25,641 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, April 23rd. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $58.50 per share, with a total value of $1,499,998.50. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 177,264 shares in the company, valued at $10,369,944. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, COO David C. George acquired 4,273 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, April 23rd. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $58.50 per share, with a total value of $249,970.50. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 64,928 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,798,288. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have bought 37,178 shares of company stock valued at $2,174,913. Corporate insiders own 0.47% of the company’s stock.

Darden Restaurants stock opened at $75.77 on Wednesday. The stock has a market cap of $9.26 billion, a P/E ratio of -189.43, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.75 and a beta of 1.31. The company has a fifty day simple moving average of $75.89 and a 200-day simple moving average of $87.61. Darden Restaurants, Inc. has a 12-month low of $26.15 and a 12-month high of $128.41. The company has a current ratio of 0.41, a quick ratio of 0.27 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.24.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, June 25th. The restaurant operator reported ($1.24) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($1.64) by $0.40. The business had revenue of $1.27 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.27 billion. Darden Restaurants had a negative net margin of 0.67% and a positive return on equity of 16.68%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 43.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $1.76 EPS. As a group, sell-side analysts forecast that Darden Restaurants, Inc. will post 2.85 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

DRI has been the topic of several research reports. Loop Capital lifted their target price on Darden Restaurants from $80.00 to $90.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, June 26th. Gordon Haskett raised Darden Restaurants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, March 25th. Oppenheimer lifted their target price on Darden Restaurants from $85.00 to $90.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Wednesday, May 20th. KeyCorp lifted their target price on Darden Restaurants from $86.00 to $87.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday, June 26th. Finally, Robert W. Baird reduced their target price on Darden Restaurants from $90.00 to $82.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, June 26th. Fifteen equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, sixteen have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Darden Restaurants presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $90.48.

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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