Wedbush Securities Inc. Sells 197 Shares of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI)

Wedbush Securities Inc. cut its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) by 4.6% during the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 4,078 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock after selling 197 shares during the period. Wedbush Securities Inc.’s holdings in Darden Restaurants were worth $496,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Geode Capital Management LLC increased its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 11.6% during the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 1,825,671 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $182,031,000 after buying an additional 189,466 shares during the period. Victory Capital Management Inc. increased its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 4.0% in the first quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 1,690,279 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $205,317,000 after purchasing an additional 65,775 shares during the last quarter. American Century Companies Inc. increased its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 17.8% in the first quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 1,589,442 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $193,070,000 after purchasing an additional 240,234 shares during the last quarter. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. increased its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 3.8% in the first quarter. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. now owns 1,228,550 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $149,232,000 after purchasing an additional 45,494 shares during the last quarter. Finally, California Public Employees Retirement System increased its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 6.9% in the first quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 816,183 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $99,142,000 after purchasing an additional 52,985 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 89.16% of the company’s stock.

Several research analysts recently weighed in on the stock. Wells Fargo & Co decreased their price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants from $120.00 to $117.00 and set a “market perform” rating on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, June 11th. MKM Partners assumed coverage on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Tuesday. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $120.00 price objective on the stock. Evercore ISI assumed coverage on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Tuesday, June 11th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $135.00 price objective on the stock. UBS Group assumed coverage on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Friday, April 26th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $133.00 price objective on the stock. Finally, Citigroup decreased their price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants from $146.00 to $144.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, June 28th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and sixteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $130.76.



In other news, CFO Ricardo Cardenas sold 14,128 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $124.87, for a total transaction of $1,764,163.36. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 23,848 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,977,899.76. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, COO David C. George sold 69,779 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, June 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $123.25, for a total value of $8,600,261.75. Following the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 109,344 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $13,476,648. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 96,907 shares of company stock valued at $11,975,585. Insiders own 0.47% of the company’s stock.

Shares of DRI opened at $117.10 on Friday. The firm has a market cap of $14.38 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.12, a P/E/G ratio of 1.81 and a beta of 0.32. The stock has a 50 day simple moving average of $122.43 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $117.67. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.39, a current ratio of 0.61 and a quick ratio of 0.46. Darden Restaurants, Inc. has a 1 year low of $95.83 and a 1 year high of $126.75.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, June 20th. The restaurant operator reported $1.76 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.73 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $2.23 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.24 billion. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 31.61% and a net margin of 8.38%. Darden Restaurants’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.39 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Darden Restaurants, Inc. will post 6.39 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, August 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, July 10th were paid a dividend of $0.88 per share. This represents a $3.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.01%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, July 9th. This is a positive change from Darden Restaurants’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.75. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio is 60.48%.

Darden Restaurants 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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