Castleark Management LLC Buys Shares of 111,724 Darden Restaurants, Inc. (DRI)

Castleark Management LLC bought a new position in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) in the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent filing with the SEC. The institutional investor bought 111,724 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock, valued at approximately $10,104,000. Castleark Management LLC owned 0.09% of Darden Restaurants at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other hedge funds have also recently modified their holdings of the business. M&R Capital Management Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Darden Restaurants during the 2nd quarter worth $108,000. D.A. Davidson & CO. lifted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 1.7% during the 2nd 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 last quarter. Farmers & Merchants Investments Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 255.5% during the 2nd quarter. Farmers & Merchants Investments Inc. now owns 1,422 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $129,000 after purchasing an additional 1,022 shares during the last quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp lifted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 4.6% during the 1st quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp now owns 1,625 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $136,000 after purchasing an additional 71 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Huntington National Bank lifted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 4.6% during the 2nd quarter. Huntington National Bank now owns 1,578 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $143,000 after purchasing an additional 70 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 89.85% of the company’s stock.

A number of equities research analysts recently weighed in on DRI shares. ValuEngine upgraded Darden Restaurants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, September 1st. 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. Raymond James Financial, Inc. reaffirmed a “market perform” rating on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Monday, July 24th. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. upped their target price on Darden Restaurants in a research report on Monday, June 26th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised Darden Restaurants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $100.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, July 11th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have issued a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $87.82.

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Shares of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE DRI) traded down 0.15% during trading on Friday, reaching $79.09. The company had a trading volume of 221,166 shares. Darden Restaurants, Inc. has a 52-week low of $60.97 and a 52-week high of $95.22. The stock has a market capitalization of $9.78 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.48 and a beta of 0.24. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $81.13 and a 200 day moving average of $85.26.

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

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 1st. Investors of record on Tuesday, October 10th will be paid a dividend of $0.63 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, October 6th. This represents a $2.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.18%. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio is presently 65.12%.

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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