Solaris Asset Management LLC Invests $412,000 in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (DRI)

Solaris Asset Management LLC bought a new stake in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) during the second quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor bought 4,550 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock, valued at approximately $412,000.

Several other hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans boosted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 3.0% in the fourth quarter. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans now owns 4,457 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $324,000 after buying an additional 130 shares during the period. Chevy Chase Trust Holdings Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 3.5% in the first quarter. Chevy Chase Trust Holdings Inc. now owns 111,187 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $9,303,000 after buying an additional 3,768 shares during the period. Raymond James Trust N.A. boosted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 3.2% in the first quarter. Raymond James Trust N.A. now owns 7,374 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $617,000 after buying an additional 229 shares during the period. Creative Planning boosted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 10.9% in the first quarter. Creative Planning now owns 7,769 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $650,000 after buying an additional 761 shares during the period. Finally, GW&K Investment Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 4.4% in the first quarter. GW&K Investment Management LLC now owns 450,512 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $37,694,000 after buying an additional 19,118 shares during the period. 95.49% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) traded down 0.17% during trading on Friday, reaching $83.99. 1,658,214 shares of the company traded hands. Darden Restaurants, Inc. has a 52 week low of $60.16 and a 52 week high of $95.22. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $86.34 and its 200 day moving average price is $83.54. The firm has a market capitalization of $10.53 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.09 and a beta of 0.27.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, June 27th. The restaurant operator reported $1.18 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.15 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $1.94 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.86 billion. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 26.18% and a net margin of 6.68%. Darden Restaurants’s quarterly revenue was up 8.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the business earned $1.10 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts expect that Darden Restaurants, Inc. will post $4.47 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, August 1st. Investors of record on Monday, July 10th were given a dividend of $0.63 per share. This is a boost from Darden Restaurants’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.56. This represents a $2.52 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.00%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, July 6th. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 66.14%.

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Several brokerages have recently commented on DRI. Robert W. Baird restated a “neutral” rating and issued a $94.00 target price (up from $90.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Wednesday, June 28th. Raymond James Financial, Inc. restated a “market perform” rating on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Monday, July 24th. Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed a “sector perform” rating and set a $96.00 price target (up from $86.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Tuesday, June 27th. Deutsche Bank AG lifted their price target on shares of Darden Restaurants from $84.00 to $94.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, June 28th. Finally, BidaskClub lowered shares of Darden Restaurants from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Sunday, July 16th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have issued a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company. Darden Restaurants presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $84.78.

In other Darden Restaurants news, insider Eugene I. Lee, Jr. sold 93,125 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, June 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $91.58, for a total value of $8,528,387.50. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 165,062 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $15,116,377.96. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 0.63% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

About Darden Restaurants

Darden Restaurants, Inc is a full-service restaurant company. The Company owned and operated 1,536 restaurants through its subsidiaries in the United States and Canada, as of May 29, 2016. The Company’s segments include Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Fine Dining (which includes The Capital Grille, and Eddie V’s Prime Seafood and Wildfish Seafood Grille (Eddie V’s)) and Other Business (which includes Yard House, Seasons 52, Bahama Breeze, consumer-packaged goods and franchise revenues).

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

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