Investors bought shares of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) on weakness during trading 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

Several analysts have weighed in on the stock. Bank of America Corporation set a $80.00 price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, June 26th. Raymond James Financial, Inc. reissued a “market perform” rating on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Monday, July 24th. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. increased their price target on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Monday, June 26th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Darden Restaurants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $100.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, July 11th. Finally, Canaccord Genuity reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $102.00 price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Friday, June 9th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have issued a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $85.18.

The stock has a market capitalization of $9.85 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.65 and a beta of 0.27. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $83.29 and its 200-day moving average price is $84.32.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, June 27th. The restaurant operator reported $1.18 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ 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 business had revenue of $1.94 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.86 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.10 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.1% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts predict that Darden Restaurants, Inc. will post $4.47 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, insider Eugene I. Lee, Jr. sold 93,125 shares of the 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 sale, the insider now owns 165,062 shares in the company, valued at approximately $15,116,377.96. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Corporate insiders own 0.63% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. USA Financial Portformulas Corp bought a new position in shares of Darden Restaurants during the 2nd quarter worth $3,811,000. Toronto Dominion Bank boosted its position in Darden Restaurants by 26.0% during the second quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank now owns 42,119 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $3,808,000 after purchasing an additional 8,694 shares in the last quarter. Archford Capital Strategies LLC boosted its position in Darden Restaurants by 9,550.4% during the second quarter. Archford Capital Strategies LLC now owns 12,449 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $731,000 after purchasing an additional 12,320 shares in the last quarter. Cetera Investment Advisers bought a new stake in Darden Restaurants during the second quarter valued at about $349,000. Finally, Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio boosted its position in Darden Restaurants by 3.2% during the second quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 54,341 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $4,915,000 after purchasing an additional 1,706 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 88.76% of the company’s stock.

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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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