Darden Restaurants Inc. (NYSE:DRI) shares dropped 0% during trading on Friday . The stock traded as low as $61.85 and last traded at $62.10, with a volume of 848,067 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $62.07.

DRI has been the subject of several recent research reports. Jefferies Group reissued a “hold” rating and set a $64.00 price target (down from $66.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Saturday, July 2nd. Citigroup Inc. increased their price target on Darden Restaurants from $73.00 to $75.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Saturday, April 16th. Maxim Group increased their price target on Darden Restaurants from $70.00 to $79.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, March 11th. Royal Bank Of Canada increased their price target on Darden Restaurants from $68.00 to $70.00 and gave the company a “sector perform” rating in a research report on Thursday, March 10th. Finally, Robert W. Baird restated a “hold” rating on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Monday, May 16th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $72.80.

The firm has a market cap of $7.84 billion and a PE ratio of 21.40. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $66.37 and its 200 day moving average price is $64.30.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, June 30th. The restaurant operator reported $1.10 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.08 by $0.02. The firm earned $1.79 billion during the quarter. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 4.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.01 earnings per share. On average, analysts expect that Darden Restaurants Inc. will post $3.88 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, August 1st. Stockholders of record on Monday, July 11th will be issued a $0.56 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, July 7th. This is an increase from Darden Restaurants’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.50. This represents a $2.24 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.61%.

In other news, Director Alan N. Stillman sold 2,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, April 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $63.50, for a total value of $127,000.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 3,100 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $196,850. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website.

Several hedge funds and institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in DRI. WBI Investments Inc. boosted its position in Darden Restaurants by 182.3% in the fourth quarter. WBI Investments Inc. now owns 288,824 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $18,381,000 after buying an additional 186,512 shares during the last quarter. Systematic Financial Management LP bought a new position in shares of Darden Restaurants during the fourth quarter valued at about $5,502,000. Marshall Wace LLP bought a new position in shares of Darden Restaurants during the fourth quarter valued at about $27,477,000. Navellier & Associates Inc raised its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 15.8% in the fourth quarter. Navellier & Associates Inc now owns 34,162 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $2,174,000 after buying an additional 4,664 shares during the period. Finally, Suntrust Banks Inc. raised its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 1.9% in the fourth quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. now owns 83,429 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $5,309,000 after buying an additional 1,561 shares during the period.

Darden Restaurants, Inc is a full service restaurant company. The Company owns and operates more than 1,500 restaurants. The Company’s restaurant brands include Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52, The Capital Grille, Eddie V’s Prime Seafood, Wildfish Seafood Grill and Yard House.

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