Assenagon Asset Management S.A. Boosts Stock Position in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI)

Assenagon Asset Management S.A. boosted its position in shares of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) by 22.5% during the 3rd quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 27,145 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock after acquiring an additional 4,985 shares during the quarter. Assenagon Asset Management S.A.’s holdings in Darden Restaurants were worth $3,209,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the business. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 3.9% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 14,961,350 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $1,821,245,000 after acquiring an additional 559,649 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 23.3% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 13,792,587 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $1,678,972,000 after acquiring an additional 2,605,688 shares during the last quarter. Bank of America Corp DE lifted its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 2.9% in the second quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 4,926,013 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $599,643,000 after acquiring an additional 139,204 shares during the last quarter. Newport Trust Co lifted its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 0.7% in the second quarter. Newport Trust Co now owns 2,608,233 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $317,500,000 after acquiring an additional 17,706 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company MN lifted its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 6.4% in the second quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 2,079,677 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $253,159,000 after acquiring an additional 125,190 shares during the last quarter. 90.97% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of NYSE DRI traded up $1.43 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $114.91. 867,932 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,289,022. The business’s fifty day moving average price is $113.76 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $119.36. The company has a market cap of $13.83 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.74, a PEG ratio of 1.99 and a beta of 0.35. Darden Restaurants, Inc. has a 12-month low of $95.83 and a 12-month high of $128.41. The company has a current ratio of 0.43, a quick ratio of 0.30 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.18.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, September 19th. The restaurant operator reported $1.38 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.36 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $2.13 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.13 billion. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 31.37% and a net margin of 8.36%. The business’s revenue was up 3.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.34 earnings per share. Equities analysts expect that Darden Restaurants, Inc. will post 6.38 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, November 1st. Investors of record on Thursday, October 10th were paid a $0.88 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, October 9th. This represents a $3.52 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.06%. Darden Restaurants’s payout ratio is 60.48%.

In other news, Director Nana Mensah sold 1,103 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, October 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $112.00, for a total transaction of $123,536.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, SVP Douglas J. Milanes sold 1,600 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $119.05, for a total value of $190,480.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 6,793 shares in the company, valued at approximately $808,706.65. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.47% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of research analysts recently issued reports on DRI shares. MKM Partners started coverage on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Tuesday, August 13th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $120.00 price objective for the company. Kepler Capital Markets reissued a “neutral” rating on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Saturday, November 2nd. Maxim Group set a $126.00 price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, September 13th. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Darden Restaurants from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 1st. Finally, UBS Group reaffirmed a “neutral” rating on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Tuesday, October 29th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have issued a hold rating and fourteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. Darden Restaurants currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $124.49.

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.

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

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