BlackRock Inc. Cuts Stake in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (DRI)

BlackRock Inc. trimmed its position in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) by 2.5% during the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 11,647,312 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock after selling 297,853 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. owned approximately 0.09% of Darden Restaurants worth $1,118,375,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other institutional investors have also recently modified their holdings of DRI. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio lifted its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 3.2% in the second quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 54,341 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $4,915,000 after purchasing an additional 1,706 shares in the last quarter. Shell Asset Management Co. lifted its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 40.1% in the third quarter. Shell Asset Management Co. now owns 47,342 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $2,436,000 after purchasing an additional 13,553 shares in the last quarter. Assenagon Asset Management S.A. lifted its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 716.0% in the third quarter. Assenagon Asset Management S.A. now owns 36,262 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $2,857,000 after purchasing an additional 31,818 shares in the last quarter. Alpha Windward LLC bought a new stake in shares of Darden Restaurants in the third quarter valued at about $435,000. Finally, LS Investment Advisors LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 11.1% in the third quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC now owns 7,462 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $588,000 after purchasing an additional 744 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 85.05% of the company’s stock.

In other Darden Restaurants news, SVP Douglas J. Milanes sold 4,300 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, January 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $97.05, for a total transaction of $417,315.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 7,513 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $729,136.65. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, insider Eugene I. Lee, Jr. sold 59,783 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, January 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $96.80, for a total value of $5,786,994.40. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 164,396 shares in the company, valued at approximately $15,913,532.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 74,866 shares of company stock worth $7,252,094. Company insiders own 0.63% of the company’s stock.

Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE DRI) opened at $95.30 on Thursday. The firm has a market capitalization of $11,923.48, a P/E ratio of 24.44, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.87 and a beta of 0.16. 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 12-month low of $73.81 and a 12-month high of $100.11.

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

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, February 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, January 10th were given a dividend of $0.63 per share. This represents a $2.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.64%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, January 9th. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 64.62%.

A number of analysts have recently commented on the company. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Darden Restaurants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $111.00 price target on the stock in a report on Monday, January 8th. Maxim Group restated a “buy” rating and issued a $112.00 price target (up from $103.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Tuesday, January 9th. Wells Fargo & Co restated a “market perform” rating and issued a $99.00 price target (up from $92.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Tuesday, January 9th. Credit Suisse Group restated a “hold” rating and issued a $95.00 price target on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Friday, January 12th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets set a $99.00 price target on Darden Restaurants and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, January 12th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have given a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Darden Restaurants currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus 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).

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

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