Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund Makes New Investment in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI)

Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund acquired a new position in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) in the 4th quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor acquired 6,698 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock, valued at approximately $730,000.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of DRI. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 23.3% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 13,792,587 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $1,678,972,000 after acquiring an additional 2,605,688 shares during the last quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management Company Ltd increased its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 19.4% during the third quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management Company Ltd now owns 8,326 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $984,000 after buying an additional 1,350 shares during the period. Assenagon Asset Management S.A. increased its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 22.5% during the third quarter. Assenagon Asset Management S.A. now owns 27,145 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $3,209,000 after buying an additional 4,985 shares during the period. Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft FI increased its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 11.2% during the third quarter. Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft FI now owns 7,588 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $897,000 after buying an additional 767 shares during the period. Finally, Nisa Investment Advisors LLC increased its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 1.0% during the third quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC now owns 51,896 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $6,135,000 after buying an additional 500 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 90.04% of the company’s stock.

Several equities research analysts have recently weighed in on DRI shares. Evercore ISI reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $135.00 price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Sunday, December 22nd. KeyCorp reiterated an “overweight” rating and set a $135.00 price objective (down from $140.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Monday, December 23rd. Royal Bank of Canada started coverage on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Tuesday, December 10th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $135.00 price objective for the company. Wells Fargo & Co decreased their price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants from $116.00 to $115.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, December 20th. Finally, Wedbush reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $125.00 price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Wednesday, December 4th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the company. Darden Restaurants currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $127.62.

In other Darden Restaurants news, Director Charles M. Sonsteby acquired 1,500 shares of Darden Restaurants stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, December 31st. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $112.26 per share, for a total transaction of $168,390.00. Also, SVP Douglas J. Milanes sold 791 shares of Darden Restaurants stock in a transaction dated Thursday, January 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $113.32, for a total transaction of $89,636.12. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 6,002 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $680,146.64. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.47% of the company’s stock.

NYSE:DRI opened at $121.71 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 0.34, a quick ratio of 0.21 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.30. The stock has a market capitalization of $14.99 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.18, a PEG ratio of 2.07 and a beta of 0.33. The firm has a fifty day simple moving average of $115.25 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $116.58. Darden Restaurants, Inc. has a 12 month low of $106.75 and a 12 month high of $128.41.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, December 19th. The restaurant operator reported $1.12 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.07 by $0.05. The business had revenue of $2.06 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.06 billion. Darden Restaurants had a net margin of 7.23% and a return on equity of 32.25%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 4.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.92 earnings per share. Equities analysts predict that Darden Restaurants, Inc. will post 6.38 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, February 3rd. Shareholders of record on Friday, January 10th were issued a $0.88 dividend. This represents a $3.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.89%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, January 9th. Darden Restaurants’s payout ratio is 60.48%.

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.

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

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