Bragg Financial Advisors Inc raised its position in shares of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) by 1.6% during the third quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 19,186 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock after buying an additional 305 shares during the period. Bragg Financial Advisors Inc’s holdings in Darden Restaurants were worth $1,176,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other large investors have also bought and sold shares of the stock. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank increased its stake in Darden Restaurants by 9.1% in the second quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 106,984 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $6,776,000 after buying an additional 8,893 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its stake in Darden Restaurants by 8.6% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 3,902,816 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $247,202,000 after buying an additional 308,834 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Investment Management LLC increased its stake in Darden Restaurants by 13.8% in the third quarter. BlackRock Investment Management LLC now owns 332,160 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $20,368,000 after buying an additional 40,209 shares in the last quarter. Raab & Moskowitz Asset Management LLC increased its stake in Darden Restaurants by 50.5% in the second quarter. Raab & Moskowitz Asset Management LLC now owns 23,077 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $1,461,000 after buying an additional 7,741 shares in the last quarter. Finally, BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA increased its stake in Darden Restaurants by 8.2% in the third quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 175,298 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $10,749,000 after buying an additional 13,279 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 87.33% of the company’s stock.

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

Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) traded down 0.60% during trading on Friday, reaching $73.37. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,410,282 shares. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $74.79 and a 200 day moving average of $66.08. Darden Restaurants, Inc. has a 52 week low of $55.77 and a 52 week high of $79.43. The stock has a market capitalization of $9.11 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.49 and a beta of 0.28.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, December 20th. The restaurant operator reported $0.64 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $0.64. The company earned $1.64 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.65 billion. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 25.92% and a net margin of 6.22%. The company’s revenue was up 2.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.54 earnings per share. Analysts expect that Darden Restaurants, Inc. will post $3.94 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, February 1st. Investors of record on Tuesday, January 10th will be paid a $0.56 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, January 6th. This represents a $2.24 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.05%. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 65.50%.

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A number of brokerages have recently weighed in on DRI. Zacks Investment Research raised Darden Restaurants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $83.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Tuesday, November 29th. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $85.00 price objective (up from $70.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Thursday, December 22nd. Sanford C. Bernstein reaffirmed a “market perform” rating and issued a $69.00 price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Wednesday, December 7th. BTIG Research lifted their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $75.00 to $85.00 and gave the company a “positive” rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 21st. Finally, Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $72.00 price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Wednesday, December 21st. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have issued a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the stock. Darden Restaurants presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $74.27.

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).

5 Day Chart for NYSE:DRI

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