Traders sold shares of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) on strength during trading on Monday. $11.95 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $48.85 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $36.90 million out of the stock. Of all equities tracked, Darden Restaurants had the 16th highest net out-flow for the day. Darden Restaurants traded up $0.78 for the day and closed at $80.20

Several equities research analysts recently issued reports on DRI shares. Stephens reiterated an “equal weight” rating and issued a $85.00 price target on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Wednesday, June 28th. Deutsche Bank AG boosted their price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants from $84.00 to $94.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 28th. Robert W. Baird restated a “neutral” rating and set a $94.00 price objective (up from $90.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Wednesday, June 28th. Royal Bank Of Canada upped their price target on shares of Darden Restaurants from $86.00 to $96.00 and gave the stock a “sector perform” rating in a report on Wednesday, June 28th. Finally, Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reiterated an “outperform” rating and set a $100.00 price target (up from $85.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Wednesday, June 28th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have issued a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Darden Restaurants presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $87.82.

The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $80.96 and a 200 day moving average price of $85.33. The company has a market capitalization of $9.92 billion, a PE ratio of 20.56 and a beta of 0.25.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, September 26th. The restaurant operator reported $0.99 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.99. Darden Restaurants had a net margin of 6.60% and a return on equity of 26.06%. The business had revenue of $1.94 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.93 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.88 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 12.9% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts expect that Darden Restaurants, Inc. will post $4.45 EPS for the current year.

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

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. OppenheimerFunds Inc. lifted its position in Darden Restaurants by 10.3% in the first quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 11,817 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $989,000 after buying an additional 1,102 shares during the last quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP lifted its position in Darden Restaurants by 18.9% in the first quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 318,818 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $26,676,000 after buying an additional 50,678 shares during the last quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC lifted its position in Darden Restaurants by 13.1% in the first quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 396,208 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $33,151,000 after buying an additional 45,740 shares during the last quarter. Ngam Advisors L.P. acquired a new position in Darden Restaurants in the first quarter valued at about $904,000. Finally, Cleararc Capital Inc. lifted its position in Darden Restaurants by 2.3% in the first quarter. Cleararc Capital Inc. now owns 3,047 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $255,000 after buying an additional 68 shares during the last quarter. 89.56% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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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