Beacon Investment Advisory Services Inc. cut its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) by 14.6% in the 4th quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The firm owned 47,317 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock after selling 8,073 shares during the period. Beacon Investment Advisory Services Inc.’s holdings in Darden Restaurants were worth $4,543,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of the stock. D.A. Davidson & CO. lifted its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 1.7% during the second quarter. D.A. Davidson & CO. now owns 1,271 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $114,000 after purchasing an additional 21 shares during the period. Argent Capital Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 2.0% during the second quarter. Argent Capital Management LLC now owns 5,125 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $464,000 after purchasing an additional 100 shares during the period. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans lifted its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 7.7% during the second quarter. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans now owns 5,456 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $494,000 after purchasing an additional 389 shares during the period. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 4.1% during the fourth quarter. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC now owns 16,144 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $1,550,000 after purchasing an additional 636 shares during the period. Finally, Advisor Partners LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 13.6% during the third quarter. Advisor Partners LLC now owns 5,610 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $442,000 after purchasing an additional 673 shares during the period. 91.55% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

DRI has been the subject of several recent research reports. Zacks Investment Research raised Darden Restaurants from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, October 30th. Longbow Research initiated coverage on Darden Restaurants in a report on Friday, October 13th. They set a “neutral” rating for the company. Argus raised Darden Restaurants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their price target for the stock from $95.67 to $108.00 in a report on Thursday, December 21st. BMO Capital Markets set a $101.00 price target on Darden Restaurants and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, December 19th. Finally, Maxim Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $112.00 price target (up from $103.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Tuesday, January 9th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have given a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $96.22.

Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) opened at $96.04 on Friday. The stock has a market capitalization of $11,860.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.19, a PEG ratio of 1.89 and a beta of 0.16. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.47, a quick ratio of 0.20 and a current ratio of 0.34. Darden Restaurants, Inc. has a one year low of $71.62 and a one year high of $100.11.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, December 19th. The restaurant operator reported $0.73 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.70 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $1.88 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.85 billion. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 26.24% and a net margin of 6.46%. research analysts forecast that Darden Restaurants, Inc. will post 4.76 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, February 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, January 10th were paid a dividend of $0.63 per share. This represents a $2.52 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.62%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, January 9th. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 63.48%.

In other news, SVP Douglas J. Milanes sold 4,300 shares of Darden Restaurants stock in a transaction on Wednesday, January 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $97.05, for a total transaction of $417,315.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 7,513 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $729,136.65. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, insider Eugene I. Lee, Jr. sold 59,783 shares of Darden Restaurants stock in a transaction on Wednesday, January 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $96.80, for a total value of $5,786,994.40. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 164,396 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $15,913,532.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 74,866 shares of company stock valued at $7,252,094 in the last ninety days. Corporate insiders own 0.63% of the company’s stock.

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

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