Royal London Asset Management Ltd. bought a new stake in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor bought 55,231 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock, valued at approximately $5,914,000.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently modified their holdings of the business. Commonwealth Bank of Australia grew its stake in Darden Restaurants by 3.1% in the second quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia now owns 15,345 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $1,637,000 after purchasing an additional 459 shares in the last quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC grew its stake in Darden Restaurants by 21.1% in the second quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 2,708 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $290,000 after purchasing an additional 471 shares in the last quarter. Catawba Capital Management VA grew its stake in Darden Restaurants by 5.4% in the second quarter. Catawba Capital Management VA now owns 10,225 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $1,095,000 after purchasing an additional 520 shares in the last quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC grew its stake in Darden Restaurants by 29.7% in the second quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 2,335 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $250,000 after purchasing an additional 535 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Castleark Management LLC grew its stake in Darden Restaurants by 13.4% in the second quarter. Castleark Management LLC now owns 4,640 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $497,000 after purchasing an additional 550 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 89.45% of the company’s stock.

In related news, SVP Douglas J. Milanes sold 2,186 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $111.06, for a total transaction of $242,777.16. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 792 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $87,959.52. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director William S. Simon sold 2,418 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, July 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $112.09, for a total value of $271,033.62. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 12,666 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,419,731.94. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.65% of the company’s stock.

DRI opened at $112.54 on Thursday. The stock has a market cap of $13.97 billion, a PE ratio of 23.40, a P/E/G ratio of 2.15 and a beta of 0.15. Darden Restaurants, Inc. has a 52-week low of $77.93 and a 52-week high of $124.00. The company has a quick ratio of 0.26, a current ratio of 0.41 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.41.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, September 20th. The restaurant operator reported $1.34 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.24 by $0.10. The company had revenue of $2.06 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.03 billion. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 30.32% and a net margin of 7.84%. The firm’s revenue was up 6.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.99 EPS. equities research analysts forecast that Darden Restaurants, Inc. will post 5.63 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, November 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, October 10th will be paid a dividend of $0.75 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, October 9th. This represents a $3.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.67%. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 39.29%.

A number of brokerages have commented on DRI. Piper Jaffray Companies restated an “overweight” rating and issued a $120.00 target price on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Monday, July 23rd. Mizuho boosted their target price on Darden Restaurants to $115.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, June 22nd. Robert W. Baird downgraded Darden Restaurants from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, September 10th. SunTrust Banks boosted their target price on Darden Restaurants to $137.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, September 21st. Finally, Morgan Stanley boosted their target price on Darden Restaurants from $103.00 to $110.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Thursday, September 13th. 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 company. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target 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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI)

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