Investors sold shares of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) on strength during trading on Thursday. $33.52 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $49.04 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $15.52 million out of the stock. Of all companies tracked, Darden Restaurants had the 10th highest net out-flow for the day. Darden Restaurants traded up $1.25 for the day and closed at $82.53

DRI has been the topic of a number of recent analyst reports. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. raised their target price on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Monday, June 26th. Bank of America Corporation set a $80.00 price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, June 26th. Canaccord Genuity reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $102.00 price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Friday, June 9th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Darden Restaurants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $100.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, July 11th. Finally, BidaskClub cut shares of Darden Restaurants from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Sunday, July 16th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have issued a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the stock. Darden Restaurants has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $84.78.

The stock has a market capitalization of $10.35 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.70 and a beta of 0.27. The company has a 50-day moving average of $87.54 and a 200-day moving average of $83.10.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, June 27th. The restaurant operator reported $1.18 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates 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 last year, the company earned $1.10 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.1% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Darden Restaurants, Inc. will post $4.47 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, August 1st. Shareholders of record on Monday, July 10th were paid a $0.63 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, July 6th. This is an increase from Darden Restaurants’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.56. This represents a $2.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.05%. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 66.14%.

In other Darden Restaurants news, insider Eugene I. Lee, Jr. sold 93,125 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on 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 completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 165,062 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $15,116,377.96. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 0.68% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of DRI. Honkamp Krueger Financial Services Inc. increased its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 0.3% in the second quarter. Honkamp Krueger Financial Services Inc. now owns 2,788 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $252,000 after buying an additional 9 shares during the period. Bruderman Asset Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 0.4% in the second quarter. Bruderman Asset Management LLC now owns 2,532 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $229,000 after buying an additional 10 shares during the period. Wedbush Securities Inc. increased its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 0.4% in the first quarter. Wedbush Securities Inc. now owns 3,180 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $266,000 after buying an additional 13 shares during the period. Wetherby Asset Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 0.5% in the first quarter. Wetherby Asset Management Inc. now owns 4,798 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $401,000 after buying an additional 26 shares during the period. Finally, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS increased its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 0.3% in the second quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS now owns 9,238 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $835,000 after buying an additional 28 shares during the period. 95.48% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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).

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