Wade G W & Inc. purchased a new position in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) during the third quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor purchased 5,994 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock, valued at approximately $666,000.

Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Schroder Investment Management Group grew its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 94.3% in the 2nd quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 175,802 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $18,987,000 after acquiring an additional 85,321 shares during the period. Millennium Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 290.8% in the 2nd quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 1,287,465 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $137,836,000 after acquiring an additional 958,040 shares during the period. Carillon Tower Advisers Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 339.4% in the 2nd quarter. Carillon Tower Advisers Inc. now owns 246,050 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $26,342,000 after acquiring an additional 190,050 shares during the period. Gradient Investments LLC grew its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 4.7% in the 2nd quarter. Gradient Investments LLC now owns 98,594 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $10,556,000 after acquiring an additional 4,393 shares during the period. Finally, Raymond James & Associates grew its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 200.7% in the 2nd quarter. Raymond James & Associates now owns 76,117 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $8,149,000 after acquiring an additional 50,806 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 88.72% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Darden Restaurants stock opened at $111.92 on Thursday. Darden Restaurants, Inc. has a fifty-two week low of $79.18 and a fifty-two week high of $124.00. The firm has a market cap of $13.95 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.27, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.14 and a beta of 0.17. 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 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.24 by $0.10. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 30.32% and a net margin of 7.84%. The company had revenue of $2.06 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.03 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.99 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.5% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts expect that Darden Restaurants, Inc. will post 5.62 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, November 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, October 10th were paid a dividend of $0.75 per share. This represents a $3.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.68%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, October 9th. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio is presently 26.20%.

A number of equities research analysts recently issued reports on the company. Barclays upped their target price on Darden Restaurants from $117.00 to $121.00 and gave the company a “$112.15” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 18th. Mizuho upped their target price on Darden Restaurants from $115.00 to $125.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, September 21st. Loop Capital assumed coverage on Darden Restaurants in a research note on Wednesday, October 24th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $130.00 target price on the stock. Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed an “overweight” rating and issued a $120.00 target price on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Monday, July 23rd. Finally, Maxim Group reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $112.00 target price on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Thursday, September 20th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and seventeen have given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $119.04.

In related news, COO David C. George sold 55,671 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, October 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $108.24, for a total value of $6,025,829.04. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 95,236 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $10,308,344.64. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, insider Eugene I. Lee, Jr. sold 60,688 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, September 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $112.63, for a total value of $6,835,289.44. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 147,561 shares in the company, valued at $16,619,795.43. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.65% of the company’s stock.

COPYRIGHT VIOLATION NOTICE: This story was first posted by Daily Political and is owned by of Daily Political. If you are viewing this story on another site, it was stolen and republished in violation of U.S. and international trademark and copyright legislation. The original version of this story can be read at https://www.dailypolitical.com/2018/11/15/5994-shares-in-darden-restaurants-inc-dri-purchased-by-wade-g-w-inc.html.

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.

Featured Story: How much money do you need to begin day trading?

Want to see what other hedge funds are holding DRI? Visit HoldingsChannel.com to get the latest 13F filings and insider trades for Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI).

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

Receive News & Ratings for Darden Restaurants Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Darden Restaurants and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.