Smith Salley & Associates trimmed its position in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) by 12.7% in the 4th quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The institutional investor owned 2,057 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock after selling 300 shares during the quarter. Smith Salley & Associates’ holdings in Darden Restaurants were worth $205,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other hedge funds have also recently modified their holdings of the company. Private Capital Group LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 356.5% in the 4th quarter. Private Capital Group LLC now owns 315 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $31,000 after buying an additional 246 shares during the period. Highwater Wealth Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Darden Restaurants in the 4th quarter worth $67,000. Ffcm LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 722.1% in the 3rd quarter. Ffcm LLC now owns 49,966 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $143,000 after buying an additional 43,888 shares during the period. Stratos Wealth Partners LTD. purchased a new stake in shares of Darden Restaurants in the 3rd quarter worth $149,000. Finally, Harvest Fund Management Co. Ltd lifted its stake in shares of 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 worth $175,000 after purchasing an additional 993 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 93.49% of the company’s stock.

In other news, Director William S. Simon sold 1,565 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $104.90, for a total value of $164,168.50. Following the transaction, the director now owns 10,248 shares in the company, valued at $1,075,015.20. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Company insiders own 0.65% of the company’s stock.

Shares of DRI stock opened at $109.41 on Monday. The company has a market cap of $13.51 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.75, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.92 and a beta of 0.29. Darden Restaurants, Inc. has a 12-month low of $82.38 and a 12-month high of $124.00. The company has a current ratio of 0.41, a quick ratio of 0.25 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.41.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, December 18th. The restaurant operator reported $0.92 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.91 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $1.97 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.98 billion. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 30.48% and a net margin of 8.12%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 4.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.73 earnings per share. On average, research analysts predict that Darden Restaurants, Inc. will post 5.69 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, February 1st. Stockholders of record on Thursday, January 10th were given a $0.75 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, January 9th. This represents a $3.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.74%. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 13.10%.

DRI has been the subject of a number of analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Darden Restaurants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $123.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Friday, December 7th. Loop Capital initiated coverage on Darden Restaurants in a research note on Wednesday, October 24th. They set a “buy” rating and a $130.00 price objective for the company. Maxim Group upgraded Darden Restaurants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their price objective for the stock from $119.00 to $122.00 in a research note on Wednesday, December 19th. ValuEngine upgraded Darden Restaurants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 18th. Finally, BTIG Research upgraded Darden Restaurants from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $119.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Tuesday, December 18th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and twenty have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $121.35.

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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.

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

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