WINTON GROUP Ltd lowered its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) by 64.2% in the 2nd quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm owned 10,037 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock after selling 17,963 shares during the quarter. WINTON GROUP Ltd’s holdings in Darden Restaurants were worth $1,075,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other hedge funds have also added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Commonwealth Bank of Australia lifted its position in Darden Restaurants by 3.1% during 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 during the last quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC lifted its position in Darden Restaurants by 21.1% during 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 during the last quarter. Catawba Capital Management VA lifted its position in Darden Restaurants by 5.4% during 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 during the last quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC lifted its position in Darden Restaurants by 29.7% during 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 during the last quarter. Finally, Castleark Management LLC lifted its position in Darden Restaurants by 13.4% during 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 during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 89.45% of the company’s stock.

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

Several equities analysts have commented on DRI shares. SunTrust Banks upgraded shares of Darden Restaurants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their price objective for the company from $104.00 to $110.00 in a research report on Wednesday, June 6th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Darden Restaurants from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, June 11th. Stifel Nicolaus increased their price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants to $115.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, June 21st. Bank of America upgraded shares of Darden Restaurants from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and increased their price objective for the company from $88.00 to $108.00 in a research report on Friday, June 22nd. Finally, Canaccord Genuity increased their price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants from $115.00 to $120.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, June 22nd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and fifteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $120.09.

Darden Restaurants stock opened at $112.54 on Thursday. The stock has a market capitalization of $13.97 billion, a PE ratio of 23.40, a PEG ratio of 2.15 and a beta of 0.15. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.41, a current ratio of 0.41 and a quick ratio of 0.26. Darden Restaurants, Inc. has a 12-month low of $77.93 and a 12-month high of $124.00.

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

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

Darden Restaurants 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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