James Investment Research Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor acquired 14,875 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock, valued at approximately $1,345,000.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently bought and sold shares of the stock. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in Darden Restaurants by 4,601.4% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 11,464,253 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $959,215,000 after buying an additional 11,220,403 shares in the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its position in Darden Restaurants by 38.3% in the first quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 3,229,308 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $270,196,000 after buying an additional 894,403 shares in the last quarter. American Century Companies Inc. increased its position in Darden Restaurants by 42.3% in the first quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 2,076,378 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $173,731,000 after buying an additional 617,269 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in Darden Restaurants by 3.6% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 14,211,162 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $1,189,048,000 after buying an additional 487,366 shares in the last quarter. Finally, UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. increased its position in Darden Restaurants by 55.0% in the first quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 1,250,125 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $104,598,000 after buying an additional 443,669 shares in the last quarter. 96.55% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE DRI) opened at 89.57 on Friday. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $90.28 and its 200 day moving average price is $81.99. The stock has a market capitalization of $11.20 billion, a PE ratio of 23.55 and a beta of 0.28. Darden Restaurants, Inc. has a 1-year low of $59.50 and a 1-year high of $95.22.

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

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, August 1st. Shareholders of record on Monday, July 10th will be given a $0.63 dividend. This is an increase from Darden Restaurants’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.56. This represents a $2.52 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.81%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, July 6th. Darden Restaurants’s payout ratio is currently 66.14%.

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A number of analysts recently issued reports on DRI shares. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Darden Restaurants from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, June 23rd. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. increased their target price on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Monday, June 26th. Robert W. Baird reissued a “neutral” rating and set a $90.00 target price (up previously from $85.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Monday, June 19th. BTIG Research downgraded shares of Darden Restaurants from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Wednesday, March 29th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company reissued a “market perform” rating on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Tuesday, March 28th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eighteen have assigned a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $84.78.

In other Darden Restaurants news, insider Eugene I. Lee, Jr. sold 93,125 shares of Darden Restaurants 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 transaction, the insider now directly owns 165,062 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $15,116,377.96. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Insiders own 0.68% of the company’s stock.

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).

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

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