Creative Planning Decreases Position in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (DRI)

Creative Planning lowered its holdings in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) by 0.6% during the 1st quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 16,026 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock after selling 102 shares during the period. Creative Planning’s holdings in Darden Restaurants were worth $1,947,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also bought and sold shares of DRI. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund raised its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 14,173.2% in the fourth quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 4,131,508 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $41,000 after purchasing an additional 4,102,562 shares during the period. Norges Bank bought a new stake in Darden Restaurants during the 4th quarter worth approximately $133,817,000. FMR LLC increased its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 211.9% during the 4th quarter. FMR LLC now owns 1,547,369 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $154,520,000 after acquiring an additional 1,051,240 shares during the period. American Century Companies Inc. increased its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 274.3% during the 4th quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 1,349,208 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $134,732,000 after acquiring an additional 988,753 shares during the period. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc increased its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 5.2% during the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 13,687,194 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $1,521,879,000 after acquiring an additional 673,563 shares during the period. 91.35% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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

A number of analysts recently weighed in on DRI shares. SunTrust Banks upped their target price on shares of Darden Restaurants to $141.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, March 22nd. Wedbush started coverage on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Thursday, January 31st. They set a “neutral” rating and a $110.00 target price on the stock. Wells Fargo & Co upped their target price on shares of Darden Restaurants from $110.00 to $120.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a report on Friday, March 22nd. BTIG Research upped their target price on shares of Darden Restaurants to $134.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, March 22nd. Finally, Loop Capital upped their target price on shares of Darden Restaurants to $140.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, March 22nd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and eighteen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $129.38.

DRI stock traded down $1.75 during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $123.03. The company had a trading volume of 1,630,028 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,263,842. 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 1 year low of $84.62 and a 1 year high of $125.33. The stock has a market cap of $15.34 billion, a PE ratio of 25.58, a P/E/G ratio of 2.02 and a beta of 0.29.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, March 21st. The restaurant operator reported $1.80 EPS for the quarter, topping 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 during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.24 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $1.71 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 5.5% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, research analysts expect that Darden Restaurants, Inc. will post 5.78 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, May 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, April 10th were paid a $0.75 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, April 9th. This represents a $3.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.44%. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 62.37%.

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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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