Optimum Investment Advisors trimmed its position in shares of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) by 8.1% during the first quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The firm owned 6,510 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock after selling 575 shares during the period. Optimum Investment Advisors’ holdings in Darden Restaurants were worth $791,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Other large investors have also recently modified their holdings of the company. Sageworth Trust Co purchased a new position in shares of Darden Restaurants in the first quarter worth $25,000. Private Capital Group LLC grew its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 356.5% during the fourth quarter. Private Capital Group LLC now owns 315 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $31,000 after purchasing an additional 246 shares during the period. NuWave Investment Management LLC grew its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 3,628.6% during the first quarter. NuWave Investment Management LLC now owns 261 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $32,000 after purchasing an additional 254 shares during the period. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund grew its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 14,173.2% during the fourth quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 4,131,508 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $41,000 after purchasing an additional 4,102,562 shares during the period. Finally, Gables Capital Management Inc. bought a new stake in Darden Restaurants during the first quarter valued at about $50,000. 91.17% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
In related news, insider Eugene I. Lee, Jr. sold 73,152 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $118.61, for a total value of $8,676,558.72. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 190,025 shares in the company, valued at $22,538,865.25. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, 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 sale, the senior vice president now owns 1,680 shares in the company, valued at $199,516.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.65% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, March 21st. The restaurant operator reported $1.80 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.75 by $0.05. The company had revenue of $2.25 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.24 billion. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 30.28% and a net margin of 8.08%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.71 earnings per share. On average, research analysts forecast that Darden Restaurants, Inc. will post 5.78 earnings per share for the current year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, May 1st. Investors of record on Wednesday, April 10th were given a $0.75 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, April 9th. This represents a $3.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.50%. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio is currently 62.37%.
Several research firms have issued reports on DRI. Morgan Stanley boosted their price target on 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 price target on Darden Restaurants and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, March 22nd. Gordon Haskett raised Darden Restaurants from an “underperform” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, March 21st. Citigroup upped their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $120.00 to $146.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 3rd. Finally, Zacks Investment Research lowered Darden Restaurants from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and nineteen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $129.38.
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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