Ruth's Hospitality Group (RUTH) Upgraded by Raymond James Financial to “Outperform”

Ruth's Hospitality Group (NASDAQ:RUTH) was upgraded by analysts at Raymond James Financial from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Monday.

RUTH has been the topic of several other research reports. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Ruth's Hospitality Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 9th. BidaskClub raised shares of Ruth's Hospitality Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, January 11th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $22.50.

Ruth's Hospitality Group (NASDAQ RUTH) traded up $0.62 during mid-day trading on Monday, hitting $24.02. 61,330 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 200,834. Ruth's Hospitality Group has a 1 year low of $16.65 and a 1 year high of $24.15. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.37, a current ratio of 0.41 and a quick ratio of 0.29. The stock has a market capitalization of $731.91, a P/E ratio of 25.26, a PEG ratio of 1.43 and a beta of 0.35.

Ruth's Hospitality Group (NASDAQ:RUTH) last released its earnings results on Friday, November 3rd. The restaurant operator reported $0.06 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.09 by ($0.03). Ruth's Hospitality Group had a return on equity of 35.46% and a net margin of 7.47%. The company had revenue of $85.16 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $87.20 million. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.10 EPS. Ruth's Hospitality Group’s quarterly revenue was up 1.7% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts expect that Ruth's Hospitality Group will post 1.03 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Ruth's Hospitality Group announced that its board has initiated a share buyback plan on Friday, November 3rd that allows the company to buyback $60.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the restaurant operator to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are typically an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, 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 sale, the chief operating officer now owns 343,617 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $7,377,456.99. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, COO Kevin W. Toomy sold 1,856 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $20.00, for a total transaction of $37,120.00. Following the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 157,551 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,151,020. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 44,404 shares of company stock worth $912,331. 7.45% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Advisor Group Inc. bought a new position in Ruth's Hospitality Group during the second quarter valued at $150,000. Macquarie Group Ltd. bought a new position in Ruth's Hospitality Group during the third quarter valued at $166,000. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC bought a new position in Ruth's Hospitality Group during the third quarter valued at $201,000. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan increased its position in Ruth's Hospitality Group by 58.9% during the third quarter. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan now owns 11,170 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $234,000 after acquiring an additional 4,140 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Maverick Capital Ltd. bought a new position in Ruth's Hospitality Group during the second quarter valued at $326,000. 81.34% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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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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