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

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Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group (NASDAQ:RUTH) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report issued on Wednesday morning, 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. “

A number of other brokerages have also weighed in on RUTH. BidaskClub upgraded Ruth’s Hospitality Group from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a research note on Friday, September 13th. ValuEngine lowered Ruth’s Hospitality Group from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Thursday, July 11th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $26.00.

Shares of RUTH stock opened at $19.75 on Wednesday. Ruth’s Hospitality Group has a fifty-two week low of $18.88 and a fifty-two week high of $31.67. The firm has a market capitalization of $596.24 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.24, a PEG ratio of 1.01 and a beta of 0.63. 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 stock’s 50-day simple moving average is $19.98 and its 200-day simple moving average is $23.14.

Ruth’s Hospitality Group (NASDAQ:RUTH) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Friday, August 2nd. The restaurant operator reported $0.31 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.31. Ruth’s Hospitality Group had a return on equity of 44.15% and a net margin of 9.14%. The business had revenue of $110.24 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $112.41 million. As a group, equities analysts forecast that Ruth’s Hospitality Group will post 1.37 earnings per share for the current year.

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

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

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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