Darden Restaurants Inc. (NYSE:DRI) shares fell 3% during trading on Tuesday . The company traded as low as $61.10 and last traded at $61.25, with a volume of 1,373,436 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $63.14.

A number of research firms have commented on DRI. Deutsche Bank AG reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Saturday, April 2nd. Sanford C. Bernstein initiated coverage on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Thursday, May 26th. They set a “market perform” rating on the stock. Sterne Agee CRT restated a “buy” rating on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Monday, May 16th. Barclays PLC reduced their price target on shares of Darden Restaurants from $81.00 to $80.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, April 6th. Finally, Jefferies Group restated a “hold” rating and issued a $66.00 price target on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Wednesday, April 6th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $70.88.

The firm has a market cap of $7.68 billion and a P/E ratio of 20.95. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $64.93 and a 200 day moving average of $64.19.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, June 30th. The restaurant operator reported $1.10 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.08 by $0.02. The company earned $1.79 billion during the quarter. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.01 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was down 4.7% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts expect that Darden Restaurants Inc. will post $3.88 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed 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. 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 3.69%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, July 7th.

In related news, Director James P. Fogarty acquired 3,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 7th. The stock was bought at an average price of $61.70 per share, with a total value of $185,100.00. Following the acquisition, the director now owns 7,890 shares in the company, valued at approximately $486,813. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website.

A number of large investors have made changes to their positions in the stock. Bragg Financial Advisors Inc increased its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 4.6% in the fourth quarter. Bragg Financial Advisors Inc now owns 18,081 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $1,151,000 after buying an additional 790 shares in the last quarter. MUFG Americas increased its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 3.4% in the third quarter. MUFG Americas now owns 27,194 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $1,864,000 after buying an additional 900 shares in the last quarter. Navellier & Associates Inc increased its stake 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 in the last quarter. Gulf International Bank UK Ltd increased its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 1.0% in the fourth quarter. Gulf International Bank UK Ltd now owns 35,974 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $2,289,000 after buying an additional 350 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management CO. LTD. increased its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 13.6% in the fourth quarter. Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management CO. LTD. now owns 39,163 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $2,492,000 after buying an additional 4,680 shares in the last quarter.

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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