Darden Restaurants Inc. (NYSE:DRI) updated its FY17 earnings guidance on Tuesday. The company provided earnings per share guidance of $3.87-3.97 for the period, compared to the Thomson Reuters consensus earnings per share estimate of $3.87.

Darden Restaurants Inc. (NYSE:DRI) opened at 61.36 on Tuesday. The company has a 50 day moving average of $62.00 and a 200 day moving average of $63.88. Darden Restaurants Inc. has a 1-year low of $53.38 and a 1-year high of $68.83. The company has a market capitalization of $7.74 billion, a PE ratio of 21.17 and a beta of 0.41.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, October 4th. The restaurant operator reported $0.88 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.82 by $0.06. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 21.95% and a net margin of 5.41%. The business had revenue of $1.71 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.72 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.68 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 1.6% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts predict that Darden Restaurants Inc. will post $3.87 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 1st. Investors of record on Monday, October 10th will be issued a $0.56 dividend. This represents a $2.24 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.65%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, October 5th. Darden Restaurants’s payout ratio is presently 76.98%.

A number of research firms have issued reports on DRI. Wells Fargo & Co. cut Darden Restaurants from an outperform rating to a market perform rating and cut their price target for the stock from $72.00 to $68.00 in a report on Wednesday, July 13th. Stifel Nicolaus cut Darden Restaurants from a hold rating to a sell rating and set a $53.00 price target on the stock. in a report on Tuesday, July 26th. Piper Jaffray Cos. restated an overweight rating and set a $76.00 price target (down from $78.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Saturday, July 2nd. Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. restated an outperform rating and set a $70.00 price target on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Wednesday, September 7th. Finally, Canaccord Genuity began coverage on Darden Restaurants in a report on Monday, August 22nd. They set a buy rating and a $74.00 price target on the stock. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have given a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Darden Restaurants currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $70.63.

In related news, Director James P. Fogarty purchased 3,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, July 7th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $61.70 per share, with a total value of $185,100.00. Following the purchase, the director now directly owns 7,890 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $486,813. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. 0.69% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of DRI. WBI Investments Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Darden Restaurants during the second quarter worth $57,165,000. BlackRock Fund Advisors raised its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 12.2% in the second quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 4,646,824 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $294,330,000 after buying an additional 505,377 shares in the last quarter. Korea Investment CORP raised its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 1,228.0% in the second quarter. Korea Investment CORP now owns 413,000 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $26,159,000 after buying an additional 381,900 shares in the last quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 35.3% in the second quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 915,255 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $57,972,000 after buying an additional 238,946 shares in the last quarter. Finally, APG Asset Management N.V. raised its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 22.5% in the second quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 1,290,776 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $81,758,000 after buying an additional 237,000 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 94.57% of the company’s stock.

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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