First Midwest Bank Trust Division increased its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) by 77.0% during the second quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 42,047 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock after buying an additional 18,296 shares during the period. First Midwest Bank Trust Division’s holdings in Darden Restaurants were worth $3,803,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in DRI. 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 valued at $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 valued at $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 valued at $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 valued at $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 valued at $104,598,000 after buying an additional 443,669 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 96.62% of the company’s stock.

Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE DRI) opened at 85.83 on Thursday. The firm has a market cap of $10.76 billion, a P/E ratio of 22.57 and a beta of 0.28. Darden Restaurants, Inc. has a 52 week low of $59.50 and a 52 week high of $95.22. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $89.79 and its 200 day moving average price is $82.42.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, June 27th. The restaurant operator reported $1.18 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.15 by $0.03. The firm 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 quarterly revenue was up 8.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.10 earnings per share. Equities analysts forecast that Darden Restaurants, Inc. will post $4.47 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, August 1st. Stockholders of record on Monday, July 10th will be issued a dividend of $0.63 per share. This is an increase from Darden Restaurants’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.56. This represents a $2.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.94%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, July 6th. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio is presently 66.14%.

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Several equities analysts have commented on DRI shares. Bank of America Corporation set a $80.00 price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, June 26th. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. upped their price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Monday, June 26th. Canaccord Genuity reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $102.00 price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Friday, June 9th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Darden Restaurants from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, June 23rd. Finally, Credit Suisse Group reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $74.00 price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Wednesday, March 29th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eighteen have issued a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $84.78.

In other news, insider Eugene I. Lee, Jr. sold 93,125 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction 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 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 filing with the SEC, which is available at 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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