Ruth’s Hospitality Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:RUTH) COO Cheryl Janet Henry sold 18,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, December 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $21.47, for a total transaction of $386,460.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief operating officer now owns 343,617 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,377,456.99. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink.

Shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group, Inc. (RUTH) traded up $0.20 on Thursday, reaching $21.50. 194,700 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 224,110. The company has a quick ratio of 0.29, a current ratio of 0.41 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.37. The firm has a market cap of $666.23, a PE ratio of 22.19, a P/E/G ratio of 1.44 and a beta of 0.35. Ruth’s Hospitality Group, Inc. has a 12 month low of $16.55 and a 12 month high of $22.65.

Ruth’s Hospitality Group (NASDAQ:RUTH) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Friday, November 3rd. The restaurant operator reported $0.06 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.09 by ($0.03). The firm had revenue of $85.16 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $87.20 million. Ruth’s Hospitality Group had a net margin of 7.47% and a return on equity of 35.46%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 1.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.10 earnings per share. sell-side analysts anticipate that Ruth’s Hospitality Group, Inc. will post 1.03 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, November 22nd. Shareholders of record on Thursday, November 9th were paid a $0.09 dividend. This is a boost from Ruth’s Hospitality Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.06. This represents a $0.36 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.67%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, November 8th. Ruth’s Hospitality Group’s payout ratio is currently 37.90%.

Ruth’s Hospitality Group declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Friday, November 3rd that permits the company to repurchase $60.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the restaurant operator to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are often a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

RUTH has been the subject of several research reports. Jefferies Group reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $20.00 price target on shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group in a research report on Thursday, August 31st. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 12th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $22.00.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Advisor Group Inc. acquired a new position in Ruth’s Hospitality Group in the 2nd quarter valued at $150,000. Macquarie Group Ltd. acquired a new position in Ruth’s Hospitality Group in the 3rd quarter valued at $166,000. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC acquired a new position in Ruth’s Hospitality Group in the 3rd quarter valued at $201,000. HL Financial Services LLC acquired a new position in Ruth’s Hospitality Group in the 2nd quarter valued at $206,000. Finally, Trexquant Investment LP acquired a new position in Ruth’s Hospitality Group in the 2nd quarter valued at $209,000. 81.32% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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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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