Thrivent Financial For Lutherans lifted its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) by 7.7% in the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 5,456 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock after buying an additional 389 shares during the period. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans’ holdings in Darden Restaurants were worth $494,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other institutional investors have also bought and sold shares of the company. Farmers & Merchants Investments Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 255.5% during the 2nd quarter. Farmers & Merchants Investments Inc. now owns 1,422 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $129,000 after buying an additional 1,022 shares during the last quarter. Huntington National Bank boosted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 4.6% during the 2nd quarter. Huntington National Bank now owns 1,578 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $143,000 after buying an additional 70 shares during the last quarter. Ledyard National Bank boosted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 4.9% during the 2nd quarter. Ledyard National Bank now owns 1,718 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $155,000 after buying an additional 80 shares during the last quarter. Sippican Capital Advisors acquired a new position in shares of Darden Restaurants during the 2nd quarter worth about $211,000. Finally, Carlson Capital Management acquired a new position in shares of Darden Restaurants during the 2nd quarter worth about $215,000. Institutional investors own 89.56% of the company’s stock.

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Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) opened at 80.20 on Tuesday. The company has a market capitalization of $9.92 billion, a PE ratio of 20.77 and a beta of 0.25. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $80.96 and its 200 day moving average is $85.33. Darden Restaurants, Inc. has a one year low of $60.97 and a one year high of $95.22.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, September 26th. The restaurant operator reported $0.99 EPS for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.99. The company had revenue of $1.94 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.93 billion. Darden Restaurants had a net margin of 6.27% and a return on equity of 23.39%. Darden Restaurants’s revenue was up 12.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.88 EPS. On average, analysts anticipate that Darden Restaurants, Inc. will post $4.45 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 1st. Investors of record on Tuesday, October 10th will be paid a dividend of $0.63 per share. This represents a $2.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.14%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, October 6th. Darden Restaurants’s payout ratio is currently 65.12%.

A number of equities analysts have recently commented on DRI shares. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Darden Restaurants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, September 1st. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. increased their price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Monday, June 26th. Robert W. Baird restated a “neutral” rating and set a $90.00 price objective (up from $85.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Monday, June 19th. Maxim Group restated a “hold” rating and set a $90.00 price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Thursday, September 21st. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Darden Restaurants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $100.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Tuesday, July 11th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have given a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $87.82.

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).

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI)

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