Hennessy Advisors Inc. decreased its position in shares of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) by 3.2% during the third quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 30,500 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock after selling 1,000 shares during the quarter. Hennessy Advisors Inc.’s holdings in Darden Restaurants were worth $3,391,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in DRI. Trilogy Capital Inc. purchased a new stake in Darden Restaurants in the 1st quarter worth $140,000. Moneta Group Investment Advisors LLC lifted its stake in Darden Restaurants by 92.9% in the 2nd quarter. Moneta Group Investment Advisors LLC now owns 1,640 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $176,000 after purchasing an additional 790 shares in the last quarter. TLP Group LLC lifted its stake in Darden Restaurants by 761.3% in the 1st quarter. TLP Group LLC now owns 2,093 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $178,000 after purchasing an additional 1,850 shares in the last quarter. Ostrum Asset Management purchased a new stake in Darden Restaurants in the 1st quarter worth $180,000. Finally, Doyle Wealth Management purchased a new stake in Darden Restaurants in the 2nd quarter worth $202,000. Institutional investors own 89.50% of the company’s stock.

A number of analysts have recently weighed in on the stock. Piper Jaffray Companies restated an “overweight” rating and issued a $120.00 target price on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Monday, July 23rd. Mizuho boosted their target price on shares of Darden Restaurants to $115.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, June 22nd. Robert W. Baird downgraded shares of Darden Restaurants from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Monday, September 10th. SunTrust Banks boosted their target price on shares of Darden Restaurants to $137.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, September 21st. Finally, Morgan Stanley boosted their target price on shares of Darden Restaurants from $103.00 to $110.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a report on Thursday, September 13th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and sixteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $119.65.

In related news, COO David C. George sold 55,671 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, October 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $108.24, for a total transaction of $6,025,829.04. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 95,236 shares in the company, valued at approximately $10,308,344.64. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, SVP Douglas J. Milanes sold 2,186 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $111.06, for a total transaction of $242,777.16. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 792 shares in the company, valued at $87,959.52. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 118,545 shares of company stock worth $13,103,896 over the last quarter. 0.65% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Shares of NYSE:DRI opened at $106.76 on Friday. The stock has a market cap of $13.74 billion, a P/E ratio of 22.20, a PEG ratio of 2.11 and a beta of 0.17. Darden Restaurants, Inc. has a 12 month low of $78.83 and a 12 month high of $124.00. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.41, a quick ratio of 0.26 and a current ratio of 0.41.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, September 20th. The restaurant operator reported $1.34 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.24 by $0.10. The company had revenue of $2.06 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.03 billion. Darden Restaurants had a net margin of 7.84% and a return on equity of 30.32%. The firm’s revenue was up 6.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.99 EPS. On average, equities analysts forecast that Darden Restaurants, Inc. will post 5.63 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, November 1st. Investors of record on Wednesday, October 10th will be issued a dividend of $0.75 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, October 9th. This represents a $3.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.81%. Darden Restaurants’s payout ratio is 26.20%.

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

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