Morgan Dempsey Capital Management LLC increased its stake in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) by 5.4% during the second quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 60,475 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock after buying an additional 3,125 shares during the period. Darden Restaurants comprises about 2.0% of Morgan Dempsey Capital Management LLC’s holdings, making the stock its 12th largest position. Morgan Dempsey Capital Management LLC’s holdings in Darden Restaurants were worth $5,472,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in DRI. Honkamp Krueger Financial Services Inc. raised its position in Darden Restaurants by 0.3% in the second quarter. Honkamp Krueger Financial Services Inc. now owns 2,788 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $252,000 after buying an additional 9 shares during the last quarter. Wedbush Securities Inc. raised its position in Darden Restaurants by 0.4% in the first quarter. Wedbush Securities Inc. now owns 3,180 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $266,000 after buying an additional 13 shares during the last quarter. Wetherby Asset Management Inc. raised its position in Darden Restaurants by 0.5% in the first quarter. Wetherby Asset Management Inc. now owns 4,798 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $401,000 after buying an additional 26 shares during the last quarter. Farmers & Merchants Trust Co of Chambersburg PA raised its position in Darden Restaurants by 0.3% in the second quarter. Farmers & Merchants Trust Co of Chambersburg PA now owns 9,630 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $871,000 after buying an additional 30 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Ronald Blue & Co. LLC raised its position in Darden Restaurants by 1.0% in the second quarter. Ronald Blue & Co. LLC now owns 3,106 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $281,000 after buying an additional 30 shares during the last quarter. 95.48% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE DRI) opened at 81.83 on Wednesday. Darden Restaurants, Inc. has a 1-year low of $60.16 and a 1-year high of $95.22. The stock has a market cap of $10.26 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.52 and a beta of 0.27. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $88.32 and its 200 day moving average price is $82.83.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, June 27th. The restaurant operator reported $1.18 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.15 by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $1.94 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.86 billion. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 26.18% and a net margin of 6.68%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $1.10 EPS. On average, equities analysts expect 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 was paid on Tuesday, August 1st. Investors of record on Monday, July 10th were given a $0.63 dividend. This represents a $2.52 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.08%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, July 6th. This is a boost from Darden Restaurants’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.56. Darden Restaurants’s payout ratio is 66.14%.

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Several research firms have recently commented on DRI. Maxim Group reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $90.00 price target on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Wednesday, June 21st. J P Morgan Chase & Co reissued a “neutral” rating and issued a $93.00 price target (up from $82.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Wednesday, June 28th. Jefferies Group LLC boosted their price target on Darden Restaurants from $80.00 to $90.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 28th. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) reissued a “neutral” rating and issued a $87.00 price target (up from $81.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Wednesday, June 28th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada boosted their price target on Darden Restaurants from $86.00 to $96.00 and gave the stock a “sector perform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 28th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have given a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $84.78.

In related news, insider Eugene I. Lee, Jr. sold 93,125 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated 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 owns 165,062 shares in the company, valued at approximately $15,116,377.96. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Insiders own 0.69% 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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