Ruth’s Hospitality Group (NASDAQ:RUTH) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group (NASDAQ:RUTH) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report report published on Wednesday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Ruth’s Hospitality Group, Inc., headquartered in Winter Park, Florida, is the largest fine dining steakhouse company in the U.S. as measured by the total number of Company-owned and franchisee-owned restaurants, with over 150 Ruth’s Chris Steak House locations worldwide specializing in USDA Prime grade steaks served in Ruth’s Chris’ signature fashion – sizzling. “

Several other research firms have also commented on RUTH. ValuEngine lowered shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Thursday, July 11th. BidaskClub raised shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a research note on Friday, September 13th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $26.00.

RUTH stock opened at $19.75 on Wednesday. The firm has a fifty day moving average price of $19.98 and a 200 day moving average price of $23.14. Ruth’s Hospitality Group has a fifty-two week low of $18.88 and a fifty-two week high of $31.67. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.57, a quick ratio of 0.25 and a current ratio of 0.34. The firm has a market cap of $596.24 million, a PE ratio of 14.24, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.01 and a beta of 0.63.

Ruth’s Hospitality Group (NASDAQ:RUTH) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Friday, August 2nd. The restaurant operator reported $0.31 EPS for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $0.31. The company had revenue of $110.24 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $112.41 million. Ruth’s Hospitality Group had a net margin of 9.14% and a return on equity of 44.15%. On average, equities analysts predict that Ruth’s Hospitality Group will post 1.37 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 5th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, August 22nd were paid a dividend of $0.13 per share. This represents a $0.52 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.63%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, August 21st. Ruth’s Hospitality Group’s payout ratio is 37.41%.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in Ruth’s Hospitality Group by 2.0% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 4,579,391 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $103,998,000 after buying an additional 89,591 shares during the period. Bank of America Corp DE lifted its position in shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group by 1.4% during the second quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 485,463 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $11,025,000 after purchasing an additional 6,564 shares during the last quarter. TD Asset Management Inc. lifted its position in shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group by 9.1% during the first quarter. TD Asset Management Inc. now owns 442,100 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $11,313,000 after purchasing an additional 37,000 shares during the last quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group during the second quarter worth $8,513,000. Finally, Panagora Asset Management Inc. lifted its position in shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group by 0.8% during the second quarter. Panagora Asset Management Inc. now owns 368,215 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $8,362,000 after purchasing an additional 3,062 shares during the last quarter. 82.86% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Ruth’s Hospitality Group

Ruth's Hospitality Group, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, develops, operates, and franchises fine dining restaurants under the Ruth's Chris Steak House name. Its restaurants offer food and beverage products to special occasion diners and frequent customers, as well as business clientele.

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