Systematic Financial Management LP Grows Position in Darden Restaurants (DRI)

Systematic Financial Management LP increased its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) by 57.8% during the first quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 282,769 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock after acquiring an additional 103,624 shares during the period. Systematic Financial Management LP’s holdings in Darden Restaurants were worth $24,106,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Rodgers Brothers Inc. lifted its position in Darden Restaurants by 16.1% in the fourth quarter. Rodgers Brothers Inc. now owns 3,975 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $382,000 after purchasing an additional 550 shares during the period. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC lifted its position in Darden Restaurants by 4.1% in the fourth quarter. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC now owns 16,144 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $1,550,000 after purchasing an additional 636 shares during the period. Juncture Wealth Strategies LLC lifted its position in Darden Restaurants by 7.7% in the fourth quarter. Juncture Wealth Strategies LLC now owns 9,800 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $941,000 after purchasing an additional 700 shares during the period. Jacobi Capital Management LLC lifted its position in Darden Restaurants by 79.3% in the first quarter. Jacobi Capital Management LLC now owns 1,585 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $133,000 after purchasing an additional 701 shares during the period. Finally, Profund Advisors LLC lifted its position in Darden Restaurants by 20.2% in the fourth quarter. Profund Advisors LLC now owns 4,316 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $414,000 after purchasing an additional 724 shares during the period. 89.61% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

A number of equities research analysts have recently issued reports on the stock. BMO Capital Markets reduced their price target on shares of Darden Restaurants from $99.00 to $97.00 and set a “market perform” rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, March 22nd. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Darden Restaurants from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, March 6th. Maxim Group reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $112.00 price target on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Wednesday, March 14th. Stifel Nicolaus reduced their price target 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. Finally, Morgan Stanley reduced their price target on shares of Darden Restaurants from $97.00 to $90.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, March 23rd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have given a hold rating and fifteen have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $98.43.

Shares of Darden Restaurants opened at $85.06 on Monday, according to MarketBeat.com. Darden Restaurants has a 52-week low of $76.27 and a 52-week high of $100.11. The firm has a market cap of $10.51 billion, a PE ratio of 21.16, a P/E/G ratio of 1.63 and a beta of 0.22. 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 quarterly earnings data on Thursday, March 22nd. The restaurant operator reported $1.71 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.64 by $0.07. Darden Restaurants had a net margin of 6.92% and a return on equity of 28.12%. The company had revenue of $2.13 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.15 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $1.32 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 13.3% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts expect that Darden Restaurants will post 4.77 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, May 1st. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, April 10th were paid a dividend of $0.63 per share. The ex-dividend date was Monday, April 9th. This represents a $2.52 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.96%. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio is presently 62.69%.

About Darden Restaurants

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.

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

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