Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC boosted its stake in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) by 3.6% in the second quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 66,054 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock after buying an additional 2,317 shares during the quarter. Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC owned approximately 0.05% of Darden Restaurants worth $5,974,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in DRI. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in Darden Restaurants by 4,601.4% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 11,464,253 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $959,215,000 after buying an additional 11,220,403 shares during the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC increased its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 3,640.4% during the 2nd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 737,685 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $66,717,000 after purchasing an additional 717,963 shares during the last quarter. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. increased its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 66.8% during the 2nd quarter. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. now owns 1,275,399 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $115,348,000 after purchasing an additional 510,969 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 3.6% during the 1st quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 14,211,162 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $1,189,048,000 after purchasing an additional 487,366 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Balyasny Asset Management LLC increased its position in shares of Darden Restaurants by 281.8% during the 2nd quarter. Balyasny Asset Management LLC now owns 181,814 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $16,443,000 after purchasing an additional 281,814 shares during the last quarter. 89.85% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE DRI) traded up 0.27% on Friday, hitting $79.42. The stock had a trading volume of 988,502 shares. The firm has a market cap of $9.82 billion, a PE ratio of 20.56 and a beta of 0.24. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $81.04 and a 200 day moving average price of $85.29. Darden Restaurants, Inc. has a 52-week low of $60.97 and a 52-week high of $95.22.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last issued 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. The company had revenue of $1.94 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.93 billion. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 26.06% and a net margin of 6.60%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 12.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.88 EPS. Equities analysts forecast that Darden Restaurants, Inc. will post $4.45 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 1st. Investors of record on Tuesday, October 10th will be paid a $0.63 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, October 6th. This represents a $2.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.17%. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 65.12%.

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DRI has been the subject of several research analyst reports. Robert W. Baird reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and set a $90.00 target price (up from $85.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Monday, June 19th. Maxim Group reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $90.00 target price on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Wednesday, June 21st. Morgan Stanley reaffirmed an “equal weight” rating and set a $86.00 target price (up from $83.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Thursday, June 22nd. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. raised their target price on Darden Restaurants in a research report on Monday, June 26th. Finally, Bank of America Corporation set a $80.00 target price on Darden Restaurants and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, June 26th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have given a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $87.82.

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).

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

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