Gateway Investment Advisers LLC decreased its stake in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) by 59.4% during the 3rd quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 2,420 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock after selling 3,547 shares during the quarter. Gateway Investment Advisers LLC’s holdings in Darden Restaurants were worth $286,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in DRI. Wetherby Asset Management Inc. boosted its stake in Darden Restaurants by 1.5% in the second quarter. Wetherby Asset Management Inc. now owns 5,334 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $649,000 after purchasing an additional 81 shares in the last quarter. NuWave Investment Management LLC boosted its stake in Darden Restaurants by 34.5% in the second quarter. NuWave Investment Management LLC now owns 351 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $43,000 after purchasing an additional 90 shares in the last quarter. HM Payson & Co. boosted its stake in Darden Restaurants by 0.8% in the second quarter. HM Payson & Co. now owns 12,674 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $1,543,000 after purchasing an additional 101 shares in the last quarter. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. boosted its stake in Darden Restaurants by 1.7% in the second quarter. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. now owns 7,151 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $870,000 after purchasing an additional 118 shares in the last quarter. Finally, United Capital Financial Advisers LLC boosted its stake in Darden Restaurants by 1.3% in the second quarter. United Capital Financial Advisers LLC now owns 9,164 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $1,116,000 after purchasing an additional 118 shares in the last quarter. 91.72% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

A number of research firms have commented on DRI. Citigroup reduced their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $144.00 to $138.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, September 24th. Wells Fargo & Co boosted their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $116.00 to $117.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research note on Thursday, September 12th. Wedbush reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $125.00 price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Thursday, August 29th. Deutsche Bank began coverage on Darden Restaurants in a research note on Friday, June 28th. They issued a “hold” rating and a $123.00 price objective on the stock. Finally, ValuEngine lowered Darden Restaurants from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 1st. 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. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $128.34.

DRI stock opened at $110.45 on Monday. The company has a market cap of $13.38 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.98, a PEG ratio of 1.93 and a beta of 0.36. Darden Restaurants, Inc. has a twelve month low of $95.83 and a twelve month high of $128.41. The company has a quick ratio of 0.30, a current ratio of 0.43 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.18. The business has a fifty day moving average of $119.10 and a 200-day moving average of $119.98.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last released its earnings results on Thursday, September 19th. The restaurant operator reported $1.38 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.36 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $2.13 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.13 billion. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 31.37% and a net margin of 8.36%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 3.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.34 earnings per share. As a group, equities research analysts anticipate that Darden Restaurants, Inc. will post 6.38 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, November 1st. Stockholders of record on Thursday, October 10th will be given a dividend of $0.88 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, October 9th. This represents a $3.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.19%. Darden Restaurants’s payout ratio is currently 60.48%.

In related news, SVP Douglas J. Milanes sold 1,600 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $119.05, for a total value of $190,480.00. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 6,793 shares in the company, valued at $808,706.65. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider Daniel J. Kiernan sold 12,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, July 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $123.92, for a total value of $1,487,040.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 14,577 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,806,381.84. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 14,600 shares of company stock valued at $1,801,640. 0.47% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

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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