Strs Ohio Has $2.02 Million Stake in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI)

Strs Ohio reduced its position in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) by 1.4% during the second quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The fund owned 22,377 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock after selling 316 shares during the period. Strs Ohio’s holdings in Darden Restaurants were worth $2,023,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Farmers & Merchants Investments Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 255.5% in the second quarter. Farmers & Merchants Investments Inc. now owns 1,422 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $129,000 after buying an additional 1,022 shares during the period. Van ECK Associates Corp boosted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 4.6% in the first quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp now owns 1,625 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $136,000 after buying an additional 71 shares during the period. Ledyard National Bank boosted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 399.4% in the first quarter. Ledyard National Bank now owns 1,638 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $137,000 after buying an additional 1,310 shares during the period. Huntington National Bank boosted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 4.6% in the second quarter. Huntington National Bank now owns 1,578 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $143,000 after buying an additional 70 shares during the period. Finally, First Manhattan Co. boosted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 2.8% in the first quarter. First Manhattan Co. now owns 2,754 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $168,000 after buying an additional 75 shares during the period. 95.48% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE DRI) opened at 82.53 on Friday. Darden Restaurants, Inc. has a 12-month low of $60.16 and a 12-month high of $95.22. The company has a market cap of $10.35 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.70 and a beta of 0.27. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $87.54 and a 200 day moving average of $83.10.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, June 27th. The restaurant operator reported $1.18 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.15 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $1.94 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.86 billion. Darden Restaurants had a net margin of 6.68% and a return on equity of 26.18%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.10 earnings per share. Equities research analysts predict that Darden Restaurants, Inc. will post $4.47 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, August 1st. Stockholders of record on Monday, July 10th were given a dividend of $0.63 per share. This is a boost from Darden Restaurants’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.56. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, July 6th. This represents a $2.52 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.05%. Darden Restaurants’s payout ratio is presently 66.14%.

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A number of analysts have recently issued reports on the stock. Robert W. Baird reissued a “neutral” rating and issued a $94.00 price objective (up from $90.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Wednesday, June 28th. Raymond James Financial, Inc. reissued a “market perform” rating on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Monday, July 24th. Royal Bank Of Canada reissued a “sector perform” rating and issued a $96.00 price objective (up from $86.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Tuesday, June 27th. Deutsche Bank AG increased their price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants from $84.00 to $94.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, June 28th. Finally, BidaskClub cut shares of Darden Restaurants from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Sunday, July 16th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have assigned a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $84.78.

In other news, insider Eugene I. Lee, Jr. sold 93,125 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $91.58, for a total transaction of $8,528,387.50. Following the transaction, the insider now 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 SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Insiders own 0.68% 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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI)

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