Ontario Teachers Pension Plan Board Cuts Position in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI)

Ontario Teachers Pension Plan Board decreased its position in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) by 53.0% during the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 14,427 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock after selling 16,292 shares during the quarter. Ontario Teachers Pension Plan Board’s holdings in Darden Restaurants were worth $786,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in DRI. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC raised its position in Darden Restaurants by 6.8% in the fourth quarter. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC now owns 18,826 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $2,052,000 after purchasing an additional 1,193 shares during the period. NEXT Financial Group Inc raised its position in Darden Restaurants by 21.1% in the fourth quarter. NEXT Financial Group Inc now owns 1,096 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $119,000 after purchasing an additional 191 shares during the period. Advisor Partners LLC raised its position in Darden Restaurants by 11.0% in the fourth quarter. Advisor Partners LLC now owns 8,379 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $932,000 after purchasing an additional 827 shares during the period. Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management Company Ltd raised its position in Darden Restaurants by 2.6% in the fourth quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management Company Ltd now owns 8,540 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $930,000 after purchasing an additional 214 shares during the period. Finally, Braun Stacey Associates Inc. purchased a new stake in Darden Restaurants in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $207,000. 84.31% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

In related news, insider Todd Burrowes acquired 2,564 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, April 23rd. The stock was bought at an average price of $58.50 per share, for a total transaction of $149,994.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the insider now directly owns 25,216 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,475,136. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, CFO Ricardo Cardenas acquired 2,991 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, April 23rd. The stock was bought at an average price of $58.50 per share, with a total value of $174,973.50. Following the purchase, the chief financial officer now directly owns 22,432 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,312,272. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders acquired 37,178 shares of company stock valued at $2,174,913 in the last 90 days. 0.47% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

DRI has been the topic of a number of research analyst reports. Stifel Nicolaus boosted their target price on Darden Restaurants from $75.00 to $87.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday. Cfra cut their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $120.00 to $58.00 and set a “hold” rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, April 1st. Wolfe Research began coverage on Darden Restaurants in a research report on Friday, April 17th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $75.00 price objective on the stock. Oppenheimer upped their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $85.00 to $90.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Wednesday. Finally, SunTrust Banks upped their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $70.00 to $85.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 22nd. Sixteen equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, fifteen have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $89.23.

NYSE DRI opened at $75.63 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.24, a current ratio of 0.41 and a quick ratio of 0.27. Darden Restaurants, Inc. has a 1 year low of $26.15 and a 1 year high of $128.41. The company has a market capitalization of $9.33 billion, a PE ratio of 14.74, a P/E/G ratio of 3.03 and a beta of 1.32. The company has a fifty day moving average of $65.65 and a two-hundred day moving average of $95.06.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, March 19th. The restaurant operator reported $1.90 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.88 by $0.02. Darden Restaurants had a net margin of 7.25% and a return on equity of 32.51%. The company had revenue of $2.35 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.33 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.80 earnings per share. Darden Restaurants’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.5% on a year-over-year basis. On average, research analysts expect that Darden Restaurants, Inc. will post 2.55 earnings per share for the current year.

About Darden Restaurants

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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