Ruth’s Hospitality Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:RUTH)‘s stock had its “hold” rating reiterated by investment analysts at Jefferies Group LLC in a research report issued to clients and investors on Friday. They currently have a $20.00 target price on the restaurant operator’s stock. Jefferies Group LLC’s price target suggests a potential downside of 9.71% from the stock’s previous close.

Several other equities research analysts have also commented on the company. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Ruth’s Hospitality Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $24.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, May 10th. Citigroup Inc. upped their target price on Ruth’s Hospitality Group from $18.50 to $20.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Monday, March 20th. Finally, Raymond James Financial, Inc. restated a “market perform” rating on shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group in a research report on Thursday, April 20th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Ruth’s Hospitality Group currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $21.00.

Ruth’s Hospitality Group (NASDAQ RUTH) traded up 0.45% on Friday, reaching $22.15. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 214,398 shares. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $21.37 and a 200 day moving average price of $19.17. Ruth’s Hospitality Group has a 12 month low of $13.74 and a 12 month high of $22.65. The company has a market cap of $679.83 million, a P/E ratio of 22.88 and a beta of 0.29.

Ruth’s Hospitality Group (NASDAQ:RUTH) last announced its earnings results on Friday, May 5th. The restaurant operator reported $0.35 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.33 by $0.02. Ruth’s Hospitality Group had a return on equity of 37.75% and a net margin of 7.89%. The company had revenue of $105.50 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $105.49 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.33 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.5% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Ruth’s Hospitality Group will post $1.07 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, June 1st. Shareholders of record on Thursday, May 18th were issued a $0.09 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, May 16th. This represents a $0.36 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.63%. Ruth’s Hospitality Group’s payout ratio is currently 37.11%.

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In other Ruth’s Hospitality Group news, Director Carla Cooper sold 3,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $21.20, for a total value of $63,600.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 36,048 shares in the company, valued at $764,217.60. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, COO Cheryl Janet Henry sold 21,077 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $21.08, for a total value of $444,303.16. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 381,617 shares in the company, valued at approximately $8,044,486.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 108,877 shares of company stock worth $2,293,273. Corporate insiders own 6.74% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in RUTH. Mason Street Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group by 7.0% in the first quarter. Mason Street Advisors LLC now owns 6,935 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $139,000 after buying an additional 455 shares during the last quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA raised its position in shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group by 9.6% in the first quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 7,860 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $158,000 after buying an additional 689 shares during the last quarter. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group during the first quarter valued at about $184,000. Russell Investments Group Ltd. purchased a new position in shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group during the fourth quarter valued at about $207,000. Finally, TD Asset Management Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group during the first quarter valued at about $209,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 84.81% of the company’s stock.

Ruth’s Hospitality Group Company Profile

Ruth’s Hospitality Group, Inc develops and operates fine dining restaurants under the name, Ruth’s Chris Steak House. The Company operates through two segments. As of December 25, 2016, the Company-owned steakhouse restaurant segment included 68 Ruth’s Chris Steak House restaurants and one Ruth’s Chris Steak House restaurant, and the franchise operations segment included 81 franchisee-owned Ruth’s Chris Steak House restaurants.

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