GWM Advisors LLC Buys New Position in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (DRI)

GWM Advisors LLC bought a new position in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) during the fourth quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm bought 3,033 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock, valued at approximately $300,000.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in the company. Cerebellum GP LLC purchased a new position in shares of Darden Restaurants in the 4th quarter worth approximately $126,000. Moisand Fitzgerald Tamayo LLC purchased a new position in shares of Darden Restaurants in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $115,000. Grove Bank & Trust boosted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 155.6% in the 3rd quarter. Grove Bank & Trust now owns 1,840 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $145,000 after buying an additional 1,120 shares during the last quarter. Cetera Advisor Networks LLC purchased a new position in shares of Darden Restaurants in the 4th quarter worth approximately $200,000. Finally, Texas Yale Capital Corp. purchased a new position in shares of Darden Restaurants in the 4th quarter worth approximately $205,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 92.06% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) opened at $96.52 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 0.34, a quick ratio of 0.20 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.47. Darden Restaurants, Inc. has a 1-year low of $73.81 and a 1-year high of $100.11. The stock has a market cap of $11,923.50, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.75, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.87 and a beta of 0.16.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, December 19th. The restaurant operator reported $0.73 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.70 by $0.03. Darden Restaurants had a net margin of 6.46% and a return on equity of 26.24%. The business had revenue of $1.88 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.85 billion. equities research analysts forecast that Darden Restaurants, Inc. will post 4.76 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, February 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, January 10th were issued a dividend of $0.63 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, January 9th. This represents a $2.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.61%. Darden Restaurants’s payout ratio is 64.62%.

In other Darden Restaurants news, insider Eugene I. Lee, Jr. sold 59,783 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, January 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $96.80, for a total transaction of $5,786,994.40. Following the sale, the insider now owns 164,396 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $15,913,532.80. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, CFO Ricardo Cardenas sold 10,783 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, January 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $97.17, for a total transaction of $1,047,784.11. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 20,046 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,947,869.82. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 74,866 shares of company stock worth $7,252,094 in the last three months. Insiders own 0.63% of the company’s stock.

DRI has been the topic of a number of research analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Darden Restaurants from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, October 30th. SunTrust Banks set a $94.00 target price on Darden Restaurants and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, December 11th. Robert W. Baird restated an “outperform” rating and issued a $104.00 target price (up previously from $94.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Wednesday, December 20th. Maxim Group reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $103.00 price objective (up previously from $93.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Wednesday, December 20th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group reiterated a “market perform” rating and issued a $90.00 price objective (up previously from $82.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Wednesday, December 20th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have issued a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the stock. Darden Restaurants currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $96.95.

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About Darden Restaurants

Darden Restaurants, Inc is a full-service restaurant company. The Company owned and operated 1,536 restaurants through its subsidiaries in the United States and Canada, as of May 29, 2016. The Company’s segments include Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Fine Dining (which includes The Capital Grille, and Eddie V’s Prime Seafood and Wildfish Seafood Grille (Eddie V’s)) and Other Business (which includes Yard House, Seasons 52, Bahama Breeze, consumer-packaged goods and franchise revenues).

Want to see what other hedge funds are holding DRI? Visit HoldingsChannel.com to get the latest 13F filings and insider trades for Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI).

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

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