Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) insider Eugene I. Lee, Jr. sold 73,152 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $118.61, for a total value of $8,676,558.72. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 190,025 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $22,538,865.25. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website.
Shares of DRI traded up $2.45 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $116.87. 1,632,899 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,267,523. Darden Restaurants, Inc. has a 52 week low of $84.37 and a 52 week high of $124.00. The company has a market capitalization of $14.37 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.30, a PEG ratio of 1.97 and a beta of 0.31. The company has a current ratio of 0.48, a quick ratio of 0.33 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.40.
Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, March 21st. The restaurant operator reported $1.80 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.75 by $0.05. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 30.28% and a net margin of 8.08%. The company had revenue of $2.25 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.24 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.71 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.5% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts predict that Darden Restaurants, Inc. will post 5.78 EPS for the current year.
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Plimoth Trust Co. LLC boosted its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 9.2% in the first quarter. Plimoth Trust Co. LLC now owns 18,717 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $2,274,000 after acquiring an additional 1,575 shares in the last quarter. Eastern Bank raised its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 6.0% in the first quarter. Eastern Bank now owns 28,537 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $3,467,000 after purchasing an additional 1,627 shares during the last quarter. Highland Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Darden Restaurants in the first quarter worth about $1,228,000. Gulf International Bank UK Ltd raised its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 1.1% in the first quarter. Gulf International Bank UK Ltd now owns 10,712 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $1,301,000 after purchasing an additional 120 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Pennsylvania Trust Co purchased a new position in shares of Darden Restaurants in the first quarter worth about $347,000. 91.29% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Several research analysts have weighed in on the company. Citigroup upped their price target on Darden Restaurants from $120.00 to $146.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 3rd. Bank of America set a $130.00 price objective on Darden Restaurants and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, March 22nd. Wells Fargo & Co upped their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $110.00 to $120.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a report on Friday, March 22nd. Morgan Stanley upped their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $112.00 to $121.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a report on Friday, March 22nd. Finally, Loop Capital upped their price objective on Darden Restaurants to $140.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, March 22nd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and seventeen have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $128.13.
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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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