Ruth’s Hospitality Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:RUTH) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report released on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Inc. is one of the largest upscale steak house companies in the U.S. Ruth’s Chris specializes in USDA Prime grade steaks served in Ruth’s Chris signature fashion – sizzling and topped with seasoned butter. “

Several other brokerages have also issued reports on RUTH. Citigroup Inc. reissued a “neutral” rating and issued a $22.00 price target (up previously from $20.00) on shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group in a report on Monday, May 15th. BidaskClub lowered shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, July 6th. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group in a report on Monday, May 15th. Deutsche Bank AG reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $24.00 price target (up previously from $22.50) on shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group in a report on Monday, July 10th. Finally, Raymond James Financial, Inc. reissued a “market perform” rating on shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group in a report on Thursday, April 20th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $21.60.

Ruth’s Hospitality Group (NASDAQ RUTH) opened at 21.00 on Thursday. Ruth’s Hospitality Group has a one year low of $13.74 and a one year high of $22.65. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $21.74 and its 200 day moving average is $19.68. The firm has a market capitalization of $644.53 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.69 and a beta of 0.31.

Ruth’s Hospitality Group (NASDAQ:RUTH) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Friday, May 5th. The restaurant operator reported $0.35 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.33 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $105.50 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $105.49 million. Ruth’s Hospitality Group had a net margin of 7.89% and a return on equity of 37.75%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.33 EPS. Analysts forecast that Ruth’s Hospitality Group will post $1.07 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, CEO Michael P. Odonnell sold 81,800 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $21.05, for a total transaction of $1,721,890.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 1,194,524 shares in the company, valued at approximately $25,144,730.20. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Carla Cooper sold 3,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $21.20, for a total transaction of $63,600.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 36,048 shares in the company, valued at approximately $764,217.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 108,877 shares of company stock worth $2,293,273. 6.74% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of RUTH. Russell Investments Group Ltd. bought a new position in shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group during the fourth quarter valued at about $207,000. Comerica Bank increased its position in shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group by 4.3% in the fourth quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 27,239 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $475,000 after buying an additional 1,131 shares during the period. State Street Corp increased its position in shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group by 3.9% in the fourth quarter. State Street Corp now owns 862,132 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $15,777,000 after buying an additional 32,643 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its position in shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group by 2.2% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,380,501 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $25,263,000 after buying an additional 29,841 shares during the period. Finally, Bank of Montreal Can increased its position in shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group by 1,630.9% in the first quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 19,075 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $382,000 after buying an additional 17,973 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 84.80% of the company’s stock.

About Ruth’s Hospitality Group

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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