Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) Holdings Lifted by Fulton Bank N.A.

Fulton Bank N.A. grew its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) by 4.7% during the 1st quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 8,624 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock after acquiring an additional 388 shares during the quarter. Fulton Bank N.A.’s holdings in Darden Restaurants were worth $1,048,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other hedge funds have also bought and sold shares of the company. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund grew its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 14,173.2% in the fourth quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 4,131,508 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $41,000 after purchasing an additional 4,102,562 shares during the last quarter. Norges Bank bought a new stake in Darden Restaurants in the fourth quarter valued at $133,817,000. FMR LLC boosted its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 211.9% in the fourth quarter. FMR LLC now owns 1,547,369 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $154,520,000 after acquiring an additional 1,051,240 shares in the last quarter. American Century Companies Inc. boosted its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 274.3% in the fourth quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 1,349,208 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $134,732,000 after acquiring an additional 988,753 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc boosted its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 5.2% in the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 13,687,194 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $1,521,879,000 after acquiring an additional 673,563 shares in the last quarter. 91.66% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

A number of brokerages have recently commented on DRI. UBS Group began coverage on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Friday. They set a “buy” rating and a $133.00 target price on the stock. Citigroup boosted their target price on shares of Darden Restaurants from $120.00 to $146.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, April 3rd. Morgan Stanley boosted their target price on shares of Darden Restaurants from $112.00 to $121.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Friday, March 22nd. Bank of America set a $130.00 target price on shares of Darden Restaurants and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, March 22nd. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co boosted their target price on shares of Darden Restaurants from $110.00 to $120.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a report on Friday, March 22nd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and eighteen have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $128.33.

In other Darden Restaurants news, SVP John W. Madonna sold 330 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $118.76, for a total value of $39,190.80. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 1,680 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $199,516.80. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, Director William S. Simon sold 1,565 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $104.90, for a total value of $164,168.50. Following the sale, the director now owns 10,248 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,075,015.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 75,047 shares of company stock valued at $8,879,918. 0.65% of the stock is owned by insiders.

NYSE:DRI traded up $2.47 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $121.62. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,486,137 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,249,086. Darden Restaurants, Inc. has a 12-month low of $84.37 and a 12-month high of $124.00. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.40, a quick ratio of 0.33 and a current ratio of 0.48. The firm has a market cap of $14.65 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.28, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.97 and a beta of 0.31.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, March 21st. The restaurant operator reported $1.80 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.75 by $0.05. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 30.28% and a net margin of 8.08%. The business had revenue of $2.25 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.24 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $1.71 EPS. Darden Restaurants’s revenue was up 5.5% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, research analysts predict that Darden Restaurants, Inc. will post 5.78 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, May 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, April 10th will be given a $0.75 dividend. This represents a $3.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.47%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, April 9th. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 62.37%.

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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.

Further Reading: Do investors pay a separate front-end load every time they buy additional shares?

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI)

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