Livingston Group Asset Management CO operating as Southport Capital Management Has $1.93 Million Holdings in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (DRI)

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Livingston Group Asset Management CO operating as Southport Capital Management cut its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) by 4.9% in the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The firm owned 15,852 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock after selling 812 shares during the quarter. Livingston Group Asset Management CO operating as Southport Capital Management’s holdings in Darden Restaurants were worth $1,926,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of the business. Franklin Resources Inc. increased its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 44.2% in the third quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 24,628 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $2,739,000 after buying an additional 7,551 shares in the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 47.3% in the third quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 517,021 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $57,487,000 after buying an additional 165,973 shares in the last quarter. LPL Financial LLC increased its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 5.9% in the third quarter. LPL Financial LLC now owns 12,369 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $1,375,000 after buying an additional 691 shares in the last quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. increased its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 30.9% in the third quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 7,625 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $848,000 after buying an additional 1,801 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Man Group plc increased its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 12.3% in the third quarter. Man Group plc now owns 169,754 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $18,875,000 after buying an additional 18,563 shares in the last quarter. 91.29% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

A number of analysts have recently weighed in on DRI shares. Maxim Group upgraded Darden Restaurants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their target price for the company 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. BTIG Research upgraded Darden Restaurants from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $119.00 target price for the company in a research note on Tuesday, December 18th. Buckingham Research started coverage on Darden Restaurants in a research note on Friday, January 11th. They issued a “buy” rating for the company. Finally, Bank of America upgraded Darden Restaurants from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their target price for the company from $113.00 to $120.00 in a research note on Friday, January 11th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and eighteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $128.13.

In other news, SVP John W. Madonna sold 330 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $118.76, for a total transaction of $39,190.80. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 1,680 shares in the company, valued at approximately $199,516.80. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, insider Eugene I. Lee, Jr. sold 73,152 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $118.61, for a total value of $8,676,558.72. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 190,025 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $22,538,865.25. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 75,047 shares of company stock valued at $8,879,918 over the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 0.65% of the company’s stock.

DRI stock traded down $0.31 during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $115.43. The stock had a trading volume of 6,889 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,407,879. The company has a quick ratio of 0.33, a current ratio of 0.48 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.40. The firm has a market cap of $14.23 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.03, a PEG ratio of 1.95 and a beta of 0.31. Darden Restaurants, Inc. has a twelve month low of $84.37 and a twelve month high of $124.00.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, March 21st. The restaurant operator reported $1.80 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.75 by $0.05. The firm had revenue of $2.25 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.24 billion. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 30.28% and a net margin of 8.08%. The company’s revenue was up 5.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company earned $1.71 earnings per share. Sell-side analysts predict that Darden Restaurants, Inc. will post 5.78 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, May 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, April 10th will be given a dividend of $0.75 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, April 9th. This represents a $3.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.60%. Darden Restaurants’s payout ratio is currently 62.37%.

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Darden Restaurants 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: Growth Stocks

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

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