WINTON GROUP Ltd Buys 3,582 Shares of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI)

WINTON GROUP Ltd boosted its position in shares of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) by 28.7% in the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 16,083 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock after purchasing an additional 3,582 shares during the period. WINTON GROUP Ltd’s holdings in Darden Restaurants were worth $1,958,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in DRI. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 1.9% in the 4th quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 727,300 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $72,624,000 after acquiring an additional 13,527 shares during the period. Geode Capital Management LLC boosted its position in Darden Restaurants by 11.6% during the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 1,825,671 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $182,031,000 after purchasing an additional 189,466 shares during the period. MML Investors Services LLC boosted its position in Darden Restaurants by 8.4% during the fourth quarter. MML Investors Services LLC now owns 11,429 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $1,141,000 after purchasing an additional 882 shares during the period. Nuveen Asset Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 0.9% during the fourth quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 18,816 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $1,879,000 after buying an additional 163 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan acquired a new position in Darden Restaurants in the fourth quarter valued at about $324,000. 89.16% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

DRI traded up $2.19 on Friday, hitting $117.10. 829,000 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,007,000. The firm has a fifty day simple moving average of $122.43 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $117.67. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.39, a quick ratio of 0.46 and a current ratio of 0.61. Darden Restaurants, Inc. has a 12 month low of $95.83 and a 12 month high of $126.75. The stock has a market capitalization of $14.38 billion, a PE ratio of 20.12, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.81 and a beta of 0.32.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, June 20th. The restaurant operator reported $1.76 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping 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 return on equity of 31.61% and a net margin of 8.38%. Darden Restaurants’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company earned $1.39 EPS. On average, equities analysts expect that Darden Restaurants, Inc. will post 6.39 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, August 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, July 10th were given a $0.88 dividend. This is a positive change from Darden Restaurants’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.75. This represents a $3.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.01%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, July 9th. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 60.48%.

In other news, SVP John W. Madonna sold 1,000 shares of Darden Restaurants stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, July 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $124.12, for a total value of $124,120.00. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 8,726 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,083,071.12. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, COO David C. George sold 69,779 shares of Darden Restaurants stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, June 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $123.25, for a total value of $8,600,261.75. Following the completion of the sale, the chief operating officer now owns 109,344 shares in the company, valued at $13,476,648. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 96,907 shares of company stock worth $11,975,585. Corporate insiders own 0.47% of the company’s stock.

Several analysts have recently weighed in on DRI shares. Citigroup reduced their price target on Darden Restaurants from $146.00 to $144.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, June 28th. KeyCorp assumed coverage on Darden Restaurants in a research report on Tuesday, July 23rd. They issued an “overweight” rating and a $140.00 price target for the company. ValuEngine downgraded Darden Restaurants from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 1st. Evercore ISI assumed coverage on Darden Restaurants in a research note on Tuesday, June 11th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $135.00 price target for the company. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co cut their target price on Darden Restaurants from $120.00 to $117.00 and set a “market perform” rating for the company in a research note on Tuesday, June 11th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and sixteen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Darden Restaurants currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $130.76.

About Darden Restaurants

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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