Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS Acquires 3,214 Shares of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI)

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS raised its holdings in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRIFree Report) by 15.2% during the 3rd quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The firm owned 24,304 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock after buying an additional 3,214 shares during the quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS’s holdings in Darden Restaurants were worth $3,481,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently modified their holdings of DRI. Cetera Advisor Networks LLC boosted its stake in Darden Restaurants by 2.6% during the first quarter. Cetera Advisor Networks LLC now owns 3,237 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $430,000 after acquiring an additional 83 shares in the last quarter. D.A. Davidson & CO. boosted its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 25.1% during the 1st quarter. D.A. Davidson & CO. now owns 2,001 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $266,000 after purchasing an additional 401 shares in the last quarter. Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan Trust Fund acquired a new stake in shares of Darden Restaurants in the 1st quarter valued at about $150,000. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its position in Darden Restaurants by 17.1% in the 1st quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 776,082 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $103,176,000 after buying an additional 113,548 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Sei Investments Co. raised its stake in Darden Restaurants by 4.3% during the 1st quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 144,817 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $19,285,000 after buying an additional 6,012 shares during the period. 94.53% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades

A number of equities research analysts have commented on the company. BMO Capital Markets raised their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $155.00 to $160.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research note on Monday, December 18th. Evercore ISI upped their price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants from $160.00 to $170.00 and gave the stock an “in-line” rating in a report on Tuesday, December 12th. Raymond James raised their price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants from $155.00 to $175.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Monday, December 18th. StockNews.com downgraded shares of Darden Restaurants from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, January 4th. Finally, Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft started coverage on Darden Restaurants in a report on Thursday, October 19th. They set a “buy” rating and a $159.00 price target for the company. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the company. According to MarketBeat.com, Darden Restaurants presently has an average rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average price target of $174.83.

Check Out Our Latest Stock Report on DRI

Darden Restaurants Price Performance

Shares of Darden Restaurants stock opened at $165.37 on Tuesday. The business’s 50-day moving average price is $162.46 and its 200-day moving average price is $155.01. The firm has a market capitalization of $19.75 billion, a PE ratio of 20.00, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.38 and a beta of 1.27. Darden Restaurants, Inc. has a 12 month low of $133.36 and a 12 month high of $173.06. The company has a current ratio of 0.36, a quick ratio of 0.23 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.67.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRIGet Free Report) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, December 15th. The restaurant operator reported $1.84 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.74 by $0.10. Darden Restaurants had a net margin of 9.16% and a return on equity of 49.39%. The firm had revenue of $2.73 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.74 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.52 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 9.7% compared to the same quarter last year. Sell-side analysts forecast that Darden Restaurants, Inc. will post 8.86 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Darden Restaurants Announces Dividend

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, February 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, January 10th were given a dividend of $1.31 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, January 9th. This represents a $5.24 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.17%. Darden Restaurants’s payout ratio is 63.36%.

Insider Activity

In other news, insider Melvin John Martin sold 6,967 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, December 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $165.12, for a total value of $1,150,391.04. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 17,159 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,833,294.08. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. In related news, insider Melvin John Martin sold 6,967 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, December 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $165.12, for a total transaction of $1,150,391.04. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 17,159 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,833,294.08. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, SVP Matthew R. Broad sold 6,831 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, January 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $163.26, for a total transaction of $1,115,229.06. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 19,141 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,124,959.66. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 21,130 shares of company stock valued at $3,475,482. 0.85% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

About Darden Restaurants

(Free Report)

Darden Restaurants, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, owns and operates full-service restaurants in the United States and Canada. It operates under Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen, Yard House, The Capital Grille, Seasons 52, Bahama Breeze, Eddie V's Prime Seafood, and Capital Burger brand names.

Further Reading

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

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