Thrivent Financial For Lutherans increased its position in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) by 13.7% during the first quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 5,067 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock after buying an additional 610 shares during the period. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans’ holdings in Darden Restaurants were worth $421,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

A number of other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of DRI. Cleararc Capital Inc. boosted its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 2.3% in the first quarter. Cleararc Capital Inc. now owns 3,047 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $255,000 after buying an additional 68 shares in the last quarter. Trustmark National Bank Trust Department boosted its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 24.7% in the first quarter. Trustmark National Bank Trust Department now owns 6,766 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $567,000 after buying an additional 1,341 shares in the last quarter. Ngam Advisors L.P. bought a new position in shares of Darden Restaurants during the first quarter worth $904,000. Beacon Investment Advisory Services Inc. bought a new position in shares of Darden Restaurants during the first quarter worth $229,000. Finally, Legal & General Group Plc boosted its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 3.8% in the first quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 632,582 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $52,914,000 after buying an additional 22,881 shares in the last quarter. 96.55% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE DRI) opened at 88.68 on Friday. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $90.28 and a 200-day moving average price of $81.99. Darden Restaurants, Inc. has a 52 week low of $59.50 and a 52 week high of $95.22. The company has a market capitalization of $11.09 billion, a P/E ratio of 23.32 and a beta of 0.28.

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

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, August 1st. Investors of record on Monday, July 10th will be given a dividend of $0.63 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, July 6th. 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 2.84%. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio is 66.14%.

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A number of equities analysts recently weighed in on the company. BidaskClub cut Darden Restaurants from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Sunday, July 16th. Zacks Investment Research cut Darden Restaurants from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 12th. Bank of America Corporation lifted their price target on Darden Restaurants from $80.00 to $85.00 and gave the stock an “underperform” rating in a research note on Friday, June 30th. BMO Capital Markets lifted their price target on Darden Restaurants from $85.00 to $87.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research note on Friday, June 30th. Finally, Robert W. Baird reissued a “neutral” rating and issued a $94.00 price target (up previously from $90.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Wednesday, June 28th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eighteen have issued a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Darden Restaurants presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $84.78.

In related news, insider Eugene I. Lee, Jr. sold 93,125 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, June 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $91.58, for a total transaction of $8,528,387.50. Following the completion of the transaction, 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 legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 0.68% of the company’s stock.

Darden Restaurants Company Profile

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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