Smithfield Trust Co. raised its position in shares of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) by 537.3% in the third quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The firm owned 1,625 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock after acquiring an additional 1,370 shares during the quarter. Smithfield Trust Co.’s holdings in Darden Restaurants were worth $181,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Other large investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Stratos Wealth Partners LTD. bought a new stake in Darden Restaurants during the 3rd quarter valued at about $149,000. Harvest Fund Management Co. Ltd increased its stake in Darden Restaurants by 171.8% during the 3rd quarter. Harvest Fund Management Co. Ltd now owns 1,571 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $175,000 after purchasing an additional 993 shares in the last quarter. Moneta Group Investment Advisors LLC increased its stake in Darden Restaurants by 92.9% during the 2nd quarter. Moneta Group Investment Advisors LLC now owns 1,640 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $176,000 after purchasing an additional 790 shares in the last quarter. Doyle Wealth Management bought a new stake in Darden Restaurants during the 2nd quarter valued at about $202,000. Finally, Summit Securities Group LLC bought a new stake in Darden Restaurants during the 2nd quarter valued at about $203,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 89.43% of the company’s stock.
DRI opened at $112.44 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 0.41, a quick ratio of 0.26 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.41. The company has a market capitalization of $13.80 billion, a P/E ratio of 23.38, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.12 and a beta of 0.17. Darden Restaurants, Inc. has a 12-month low of $79.18 and a 12-month high of $124.00.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, November 1st. Investors of record on Wednesday, October 10th were issued a $0.75 dividend. This represents a $3.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.67%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, October 9th. Darden Restaurants’s payout ratio is 26.20%.
A number of brokerages have recently commented on DRI. Robert W. Baird lowered shares of Darden Restaurants from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, September 10th. Morgan Stanley lifted their price target on shares of Darden Restaurants from $103.00 to $110.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Thursday, September 13th. Argus lifted their price target on shares of Darden Restaurants to $240.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, September 13th. Goldman Sachs Group upgraded shares of Darden Restaurants from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their price target for the stock from $106.00 to $130.00 in a research note on Tuesday, September 11th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Maxim Group reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $112.00 price target on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Thursday, September 20th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and seventeen have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $119.04.
In related news, insider Eugene I. Lee, Jr. sold 60,688 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, September 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $112.63, for a total value of $6,835,289.44. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 147,561 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $16,619,795.43. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, COO David C. George sold 55,671 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, October 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $108.24, for a total transaction of $6,025,829.04. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 95,236 shares in the company, valued at approximately $10,308,344.64. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.65% of the company’s stock.
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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.
Further Reading: Diversification Important in Investing
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