Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) Trading Down 5.1%

Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) fell 5.1% during mid-day trading on Thursday . The stock traded as low as $120.44 and last traded at $120.68, 4,299,677 shares were traded during trading. An increase of 238% from the average session volume of 1,273,006 shares. The stock had previously closed at $127.13.

Several research firms recently issued reports on DRI. KeyCorp initiated coverage on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Tuesday, July 23rd. They set an “overweight” rating and a $140.00 price target for the company. Stephens lowered shares of Darden Restaurants from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and set a $121.75 target price on the stock. in a research report on Friday, June 28th. Wells Fargo & Co upped their target price on shares of Darden Restaurants from $116.00 to $117.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research report on Thursday, September 12th. Citigroup lowered their target price on shares of Darden Restaurants from $146.00 to $144.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, June 28th. Finally, Maxim Group set a $126.00 target price on shares of Darden Restaurants and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, September 13th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and thirteen have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $126.08.

The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $121.76 and its 200 day moving average price is $119.65. The firm has a market capitalization of $15.62 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.74, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.97 and a beta of 0.34. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.39, a current ratio of 0.61 and a quick ratio of 0.46.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, June 20th. The restaurant operator reported $1.76 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.73 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $2.23 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.24 billion. Darden Restaurants had a net margin of 8.38% and a return on equity of 31.61%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 4.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $1.39 earnings per share. On average, analysts predict that Darden Restaurants, Inc. will post 6.39 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, November 1st. Stockholders of record on Thursday, October 10th will be given a $0.88 dividend. This represents a $3.52 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.92%. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio is presently 60.48%.

In related news, COO David C. George sold 69,779 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, June 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $123.25, for a total transaction of $8,600,261.75. Following the sale, the chief operating officer now owns 109,344 shares in the company, valued at $13,476,648. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CFO Ricardo Cardenas sold 14,128 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $124.87, for a total transaction of $1,764,163.36. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 23,848 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,977,899.76. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 96,907 shares of company stock worth $11,975,585 over the last quarter. Company insiders own 0.47% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. BRITISH COLUMBIA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT Corp boosted its position in Darden Restaurants by 26.3% during the second quarter. BRITISH COLUMBIA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT Corp now owns 42,784 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $5,208,000 after acquiring an additional 8,903 shares during the last quarter. Hancock Whitney Corp acquired a new stake in Darden Restaurants during the second quarter worth approximately $414,000. Toronto Dominion Bank boosted its position in Darden Restaurants by 178.1% during the second quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank now owns 271,982 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $33,090,000 after acquiring an additional 174,173 shares during the last quarter. Atria Investments LLC boosted its position in Darden Restaurants by 43.8% during the second quarter. Atria Investments LLC now owns 31,299 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $3,713,000 after acquiring an additional 9,527 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Keudell Morrison Wealth Management acquired a new stake in Darden Restaurants during the second quarter worth approximately $3,037,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 91.30% of the company’s stock.

Darden Restaurants Company Profile (NYSE:DRI)

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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