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Vanguard Group Inc. Trims Stock Holdings in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI)

Darden Restaurants logo with Retail/Wholesale background

Vanguard Group Inc. lessened its holdings in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI - Free Report) by 0.7% during the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 13,985,178 shares of the restaurant operator's stock after selling 92,368 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. owned about 11.71% of Darden Restaurants worth $2,297,765,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. SageView Advisory Group LLC grew its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 35.3% during the fourth quarter. SageView Advisory Group LLC now owns 3,272 shares of the restaurant operator's stock worth $536,000 after purchasing an additional 854 shares during the last quarter. Willner & Heller LLC bought a new stake in shares of Darden Restaurants during the fourth quarter worth about $213,000. Wellington Management Group LLP grew its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 10.3% during the fourth quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 1,809,155 shares of the restaurant operator's stock worth $297,244,000 after purchasing an additional 169,642 shares during the last quarter. Congress Asset Management Co. MA grew its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 0.5% during the fourth quarter. Congress Asset Management Co. MA now owns 1,418,592 shares of the restaurant operator's stock worth $233,075,000 after purchasing an additional 6,968 shares during the last quarter. Finally, American International Group Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 0.9% during the fourth quarter. American International Group Inc. now owns 35,430 shares of the restaurant operator's stock worth $5,821,000 after purchasing an additional 306 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 93.64% of the company's stock.


Analyst Ratings Changes

Several research firms have recently weighed in on DRI. BTIG Research upgraded Darden Restaurants from a "neutral" rating to a "buy" rating and set a $175.00 price target on the stock in a report on Friday, May 17th. Stifel Nicolaus lifted their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $185.00 to $190.00 and gave the stock a "buy" rating in a research note on Tuesday, March 19th. Evercore ISI cut their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $170.00 to $165.00 and set an "in-line" rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, June 13th. Citigroup cut their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $192.00 to $191.00 and set a "buy" rating on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, June 5th. Finally, Oppenheimer cut their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $186.00 to $182.00 and set an "outperform" rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, March 22nd. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and sixteen have given a buy rating to the stock. According to data from MarketBeat, the company has an average rating of "Moderate Buy" and an average target price of $173.81.

View Our Latest Stock Report on Darden Restaurants

Darden Restaurants Stock Down 1.0 %

Darden Restaurants stock traded down $1.51 during trading on Tuesday, hitting $152.07. 2,335,052 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,175,951. The business's 50 day moving average is $150.91 and its 200 day moving average is $159.84. Darden Restaurants, Inc. has a 52 week low of $133.36 and a 52 week high of $176.84. The company has a market capitalization of $18.15 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.13, a PEG ratio of 1.57 and a beta of 1.29. The company has a current ratio of 0.39, a quick ratio of 0.25 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.63.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI - Get Free Report) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, March 21st. The restaurant operator reported $2.62 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $2.63 by ($0.01). The company had revenue of $2.97 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.02 billion. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 49.94% and a net margin of 9.24%. The company's quarterly revenue was up 6.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $2.34 EPS. Analysts predict that Darden Restaurants, Inc. will post 8.85 earnings per share for the current year.

Darden Restaurants Dividend Announcement

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, May 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, April 10th were paid a $1.31 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, April 9th. This represents a $5.24 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.45%. Darden Restaurants's dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 61.43%.

Darden Restaurants announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share repurchase program on Thursday, March 21st that authorizes the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the restaurant operator to buy up to 5% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are often a sign that the company's board believes its stock is undervalued.

Insider Buying and Selling at Darden Restaurants

In other Darden Restaurants news, Director William S. Simon sold 1,219 shares of the company's stock in a transaction on Monday, April 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $158.21, for a total value of $192,857.99. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 6,281 shares in the company, valued at approximately $993,717.01. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. In related news, SVP Matthew R. Broad sold 4,707 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, April 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $156.15, for a total transaction of $734,998.05. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 19,179 shares of the company's stock, valued at approximately $2,994,800.85. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director William S. Simon sold 1,219 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, April 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $158.21, for a total value of $192,857.99. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 6,281 shares in the company, valued at approximately $993,717.01. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 13,599 shares of company stock worth $2,197,891 in the last quarter. 0.85% of the stock is currently owned by company 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.

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

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