Associated Banc Corp boosted its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) by 36.2% during the 4th quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The firm owned 10,085 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock after buying an additional 2,683 shares during the period. Associated Banc Corp’s holdings in Darden Restaurants were worth $968,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other large investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in DRI. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans raised its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 7.7% during the 2nd quarter. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans now owns 5,456 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $494,000 after buying an additional 389 shares during the period. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. raised its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 146.7% during the 2nd quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. now owns 20,048 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $1,813,000 after buying an additional 11,923 shares during the period. Nomura Holdings Inc. raised its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 97.0% during the 2nd quarter. Nomura Holdings Inc. now owns 9,360 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $848,000 after buying an additional 4,608 shares during the period. Verition Fund Management LLC purchased a new stake in Darden Restaurants during the 2nd quarter valued at $527,000. Finally, Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio raised its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 3.2% during the 2nd quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 54,341 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $4,915,000 after buying an additional 1,706 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 92.06% of the company’s stock.

In other news, CFO Ricardo Cardenas sold 10,783 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, January 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $97.17, for a total transaction of $1,047,784.11. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 20,046 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,947,869.82. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, SVP Douglas J. Milanes sold 4,300 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, January 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $97.05, for a total value of $417,315.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 7,513 shares in the company, valued at approximately $729,136.65. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 74,866 shares of company stock worth $7,252,094 in the last three months. Corporate insiders own 0.63% of the company’s stock.

Several analysts recently weighed in on the company. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Darden Restaurants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $111.00 price target on the stock in a report on Monday, January 8th. Wells Fargo & Co restated a “market perform” rating and set a $99.00 price target (up previously from $92.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Tuesday, January 9th. Maxim Group restated a “buy” rating and set a $112.00 price target (up previously from $103.00) on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Tuesday, January 9th. Credit Suisse Group restated a “hold” rating and set a $95.00 price target on shares of Darden Restaurants in a report on Friday, January 12th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets set a $99.00 price target on Darden Restaurants and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, January 12th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have given a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $96.95.

Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) opened at $94.72 on Wednesday. Darden Restaurants, Inc. has a 12-month low of $73.81 and a 12-month high of $100.11. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.47, a quick ratio of 0.20 and a current ratio of 0.34. The stock has a market capitalization of $11,700.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.86, a PEG ratio of 1.79 and a beta of 0.16.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, December 19th. The restaurant operator reported $0.73 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.70 by $0.03. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 26.24% and a net margin of 6.46%. The business had revenue of $1.88 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.85 billion. 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 given a dividend of $0.63 per share. This represents a $2.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.66%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, January 9th. Darden Restaurants’s payout ratio is 63.48%.

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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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