NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Darden Restaurants Inc. (DRI) are up 4.52% to $46.95 in after-hours trading after the company announced that its board expects to nominate nine of its independent directors as the board's slate of nominees for election at the annual meeting of shareholders to be held on September 30.
The Darden board will continue to be comprised of 12 members until a new CEO is appointed in accordance with the leadership succession plan separately announced today.
By nominating a slate of nine directors for the 12 available seats at the Annual Meeting, Darden has ensured that at least three of the nominees proposed by activist investor Starboard Value L.P. and its affiliates would be elected at the annual meeting.
The company also announced that it has engaged in settlement discussions with Starboard with respect to Starboard's pending proxy contest but has been unable to reach an agreement.
TheStreet Ratings team rates DARDEN RESTAURANTS INC as a Hold with a ratings score of C+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate DARDEN RESTAURANTS INC (DRI) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth and reasonable valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, generally higher debt management risk and disappointing return on equity."