Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) Shares Bought by AMP Capital Investors Ltd

AMP Capital Investors Ltd raised its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) by 11.4% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 86,508 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock after purchasing an additional 8,855 shares during the quarter. AMP Capital Investors Ltd owned about 0.07% of Darden Restaurants worth $8,306,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of the business. Wells Fargo & Company MN boosted its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 2.2% in the 3rd quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 3,317,326 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $261,339,000 after acquiring an additional 72,824 shares during the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. boosted its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 1,963.6% during the fourth quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 2,067,552 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $198,526,000 after buying an additional 1,967,362 shares in the last quarter. HS Management Partners LLC acquired a new position in Darden Restaurants during the third quarter worth $157,044,000. American Century Companies Inc. raised its position in Darden Restaurants by 29.2% during the fourth quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 1,689,176 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $162,195,000 after acquiring an additional 381,677 shares during the period. Finally, Janus Henderson Group PLC raised its position in Darden Restaurants by 113.6% during the third quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 1,576,026 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $124,158,000 after acquiring an additional 838,341 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 90.49% of the company’s stock.

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In related news, CFO Ricardo Cardenas sold 10,783 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, January 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $97.17, for a total value 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 transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, SVP Douglas J. Milanes sold 4,300 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, January 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $97.05, for a total transaction of $417,315.00. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 7,513 shares in the company, valued at $729,136.65. 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 over the last 90 days. Insiders own 0.63% of the company’s stock.

A number of equities analysts have weighed in on DRI shares. Argus upgraded shares of Darden Restaurants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their price objective for the stock from $95.67 to $108.00 in a research report on Thursday, December 21st. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Darden Restaurants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $98.00 target price for the company in a research report on Thursday, December 14th. Maxim Group reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $103.00 target price (up from $93.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Wednesday, December 20th. Mizuho began coverage on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Thursday, March 15th. They set a “buy” rating and a $105.00 price objective for the company. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus cut their price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants from $105.00 to $100.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, March 23rd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have issued a hold rating and fourteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $98.43.

Shares of Darden Restaurants stock traded up $0.19 during trading on Friday, reaching $86.86. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,757,619 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,861,568. The stock has a market capitalization of $10,706.67, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.61, a PEG ratio of 1.66 and a beta of 0.23. Darden Restaurants has a fifty-two week low of $76.27 and a fifty-two week high of $100.11. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.44, a current ratio of 0.39 and a quick ratio of 0.25.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, March 22nd. The restaurant operator reported $1.71 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.64 by $0.07. Darden Restaurants had a net margin of 6.92% and a return on equity of 28.12%. The business had revenue of $2.13 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.15 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $1.32 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 13.3% on a year-over-year basis. analysts anticipate that Darden Restaurants will post 4.77 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, May 1st. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, April 10th will be given a dividend of $0.63 per share. The ex-dividend date is Monday, April 9th. This represents a $2.52 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.90%. Darden Restaurants’s payout ratio is currently 62.69%.

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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 June 27, 2017, it owned and operated approximately 1,700 restaurants under the Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen, Yard House, The Capital Grille, Seasons 52, Bahama Breeze, and Eddie V's brands.

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

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