Earnest Partners LLC Buys 4,499 Shares of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI)

Earnest Partners LLC increased its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) by 0.8% during the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 593,337 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock after acquiring an additional 4,499 shares during the quarter. Earnest Partners LLC owned approximately 0.48% of Darden Restaurants worth $72,227,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of DRI. Nomura Asset Management Co. Ltd. lifted its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 0.7% in the 1st quarter. Nomura Asset Management Co. Ltd. now owns 25,482 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $3,095,000 after buying an additional 185 shares during the period. Farmers National Bank purchased a new position in shares of Darden Restaurants in the 1st quarter valued at approximately $361,000. Sawtooth Solutions LLC lifted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 5.6% in the 1st quarter. Sawtooth Solutions LLC now owns 2,625 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $319,000 after purchasing an additional 140 shares during the period. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company lifted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 12.1% in the 1st quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 134,780 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $16,372,000 after purchasing an additional 14,550 shares during the period. Finally, Riverhead Capital Management LLC lifted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 18.8% in the 1st quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC now owns 101,483 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $12,327,000 after purchasing an additional 16,080 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 91.28% of the company’s stock.

DRI has been the subject of a number of research analyst reports. Citigroup lowered their target price on Darden Restaurants from $146.00 to $144.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, June 28th. Wells Fargo & Co raised their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $116.00 to $117.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research report on Thursday. KeyCorp began coverage on Darden Restaurants in a research report on Tuesday, July 23rd. They set an “overweight” rating and a $140.00 price objective for the company. Evercore ISI began coverage on Darden Restaurants in a research report on Tuesday, June 11th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $135.00 price objective for the company. Finally, Deutsche Bank began coverage on Darden Restaurants in a research report on Friday, June 28th. They set a “hold” rating and a $123.00 price objective for the company. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and fourteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. Darden Restaurants has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $130.82.

Shares of DRI opened at $127.92 on Friday. 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 one year low of $95.83 and a one year high of $127.99. The firm has a market capitalization of $15.63 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.98, a PEG ratio of 1.97 and a beta of 0.34. The business has a fifty day moving average of $121.62 and a 200 day moving average of $119.14.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, June 20th. The restaurant operator reported $1.76 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.73 by $0.03. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 31.61% and a net margin of 8.38%. The company had revenue of $2.23 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.24 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.39 earnings per share. Darden Restaurants’s revenue was up 4.5% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts expect that Darden Restaurants, Inc. will post 6.39 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, COO David C. George sold 69,779 shares of Darden Restaurants stock in a transaction on Monday, June 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $123.25, for a total transaction of $8,600,261.75. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 109,344 shares in the company, valued at $13,476,648. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, SVP John W. Madonna sold 1,000 shares of Darden Restaurants stock in a transaction on Tuesday, July 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $124.12, for a total value of $124,120.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 8,726 shares in the company, valued at $1,083,071.12. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 96,907 shares of company stock valued at $11,975,585 in the last ninety days. 0.47% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

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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