Chevy Chase Trust Holdings Inc. boosted its position in shares of Darden Restaurants Inc. (NYSE:DRI) by 7.7% during the third quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The fund owned 109,471 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock after buying an additional 7,810 shares during the period. Chevy Chase Trust Holdings Inc. owned 0.09% of Darden Restaurants worth $6,713,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Renaissance Technologies LLC raised its position in Darden Restaurants by 80.8% in the first quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 175,900 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $11,662,000 after buying an additional 78,600 shares during the period. First Republic Investment Management Inc. raised its position in Darden Restaurants by 118.6% in the first quarter. First Republic Investment Management Inc. now owns 9,985 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $663,000 after buying an additional 5,417 shares during the period. First Financial Bank N.A. Trust Division raised its position in Darden Restaurants by 5.3% in the second quarter. First Financial Bank N.A. Trust Division now owns 50,800 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $3,218,000 after buying an additional 2,567 shares during the period. New England Research & Management Inc. bought a new position in Darden Restaurants during the second quarter worth $570,000. Finally, British Columbia Investment Management Corp raised its position in Darden Restaurants by 5.8% in the second quarter. British Columbia Investment Management Corp now owns 111,649 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $7,072,000 after buying an additional 6,128 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 88.85% of the company’s stock.

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

Darden Restaurants Inc. (NYSE:DRI) traded up 0.54% during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $73.27. The company had a trading volume of 1,342,831 shares. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $66.59 and a 200 day moving average price of $64.26. The firm has a market capitalization of $9.02 billion, a P/E ratio of 23.66 and a beta of 0.23. Darden Restaurants Inc. has a 1-year low of $55.01 and a 1-year high of $74.99.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, October 4th. The restaurant operator reported $0.88 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.82 by $0.06. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 24.97% and a net margin of 5.73%. The firm had revenue of $1.71 billion for the quarter. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.68 earnings per share. Darden Restaurants’s revenue was up 1.6% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts forecast that Darden Restaurants Inc. will post $3.93 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, November 1st. Shareholders of record on Monday, October 10th were given a dividend of $0.56 per share. This represents a $2.24 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.07%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, October 5th. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio is currently 72.03%.

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A number of research analysts recently weighed in on DRI shares. Canaccord Genuity started coverage on Darden Restaurants in a research report on Monday, August 22nd. They set a “buy” rating and a $74.00 price objective for the company. Credit Suisse Group AG reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $69.00 price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Wednesday, October 5th. Zacks Investment Research raised Darden Restaurants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $69.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Thursday, October 6th. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $64.00 price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Thursday, September 1st. Finally, Morgan Stanley reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $67.00 price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Tuesday, September 27th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have assigned a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Darden Restaurants has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $70.79.

In other Darden Restaurants news, SVP Danielle L. Kirgan sold 8,780 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.47, for a total transaction of $548,486.60. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 15,989 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $998,832.83. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, SVP Danielle L. Kirgan sold 28,127 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.47, for a total value of $1,757,093.69. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 15,989 shares in the company, valued at $998,832.83. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company 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).

5 Day Chart for NYSE:DRI

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