Traders purchased shares of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) on weakness during trading hours on Thursday. $61.37 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $38.00 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $23.37 million into the stock. Of all equities tracked, Darden Restaurants had the 17th highest net in-flow for the day. Darden Restaurants traded down ($1.31) for the day and closed at $77.05

DRI has been the topic of a number of recent research reports. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. increased their target price on Darden Restaurants in a report on Monday, June 26th. Bank of America Corporation set a $80.00 target price on Darden Restaurants and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, June 26th. Canaccord Genuity reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $102.00 target price on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Friday, June 9th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Darden Restaurants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $100.00 target price on the stock in a report on Tuesday, July 11th. Finally, BidaskClub cut Darden Restaurants from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Sunday, July 16th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have issued a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the stock. Darden Restaurants presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $85.18.

The stock has a market capitalization of $9.66 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.26 and a beta of 0.27. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $83.97 and a 200 day moving average of $84.42.

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. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Darden Restaurants, Inc. will post $4.47 earnings per share for the current year.

In other Darden Restaurants news, insider Eugene I. Lee, Jr. sold 93,125 shares of the 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 of the company’s stock, valued at $15,116,377.96. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 0.63% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of DRI. Nationwide Fund Advisors lifted its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 0.8% in the first quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors now owns 108,854 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $9,108,000 after acquiring an additional 892 shares during the period. First Manhattan Co. lifted its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 2.8% in the first quarter. First Manhattan Co. now owns 2,754 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $168,000 after acquiring an additional 75 shares during the period. Acadian Asset Management LLC lifted its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 372.3% in the first quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC now owns 13,587 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $1,138,000 after acquiring an additional 10,710 shares during the period. Strs Ohio lifted its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 19.3% in the first quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 22,693 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $1,898,000 after acquiring an additional 3,665 shares during the period. Finally, Russell Investments Group Ltd. lifted its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 7.5% in the first quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 85,754 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $7,176,000 after acquiring an additional 5,990 shares during the period. 88.76% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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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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