Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) insider Eugene I. Lee, Jr. sold 60,688 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, September 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $112.63, for a total value of $6,835,289.44. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 147,561 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $16,619,795.43. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink.

Darden Restaurants stock traded down $1.25 during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $111.29. 54,702 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,284,746. Darden Restaurants, Inc. has a 12 month low of $77.93 and a 12 month high of $124.00. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.41, a current ratio of 0.41 and a quick ratio of 0.26. The firm has a market cap of $13.97 billion, a PE ratio of 23.49, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.15 and a beta of 0.15.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, September 20th. The restaurant operator reported $1.34 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.24 by $0.10. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 30.32% and a net margin of 7.84%. The firm had revenue of $2.06 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.03 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.99 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 6.5% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts expect that Darden Restaurants, Inc. will post 5.63 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, November 1st. Investors of record on Wednesday, October 10th will be given a dividend of $0.75 per share. This represents a $3.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.70%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, October 9th. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio is currently 39.29%.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Trilogy Capital Inc. bought a new position in Darden Restaurants during the 1st quarter worth $140,000. Moneta Group Investment Advisors LLC raised its position in Darden Restaurants by 92.9% during the 2nd quarter. Moneta Group Investment Advisors LLC now owns 1,640 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $176,000 after purchasing an additional 790 shares during the last quarter. Doyle Wealth Management bought a new position in Darden Restaurants during the 2nd quarter worth $202,000. Summit Securities Group LLC bought a new position in Darden Restaurants during the 2nd quarter worth $203,000. Finally, Pillar Pacific Capital Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Darden Restaurants in the 2nd quarter worth about $204,000. 89.45% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Several research analysts recently commented on DRI shares. SunTrust Banks raised Darden Restaurants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their price target for the company from $104.00 to $110.00 in a research report on Wednesday, June 6th. Stifel Nicolaus upped their price objective on Darden Restaurants to $115.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, June 21st. Maxim Group restated a “hold” rating and issued a $112.00 price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Thursday, September 20th. Morgan Stanley upped their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $90.00 to $103.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Friday, June 22nd. Finally, BMO Capital Markets lowered Darden Restaurants from a “market perform” rating to an “underperform” rating and dropped their price objective for the company from $105.00 to $96.00 in a research note on Monday. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and fifteen have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $120.09.

Darden Restaurants Company Profile

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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Insider Buying and Selling by Quarter for Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI)

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