Ruth's Hospitality Group (NASDAQ:RUTH) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Thursday, January 4th. The firm currently has a $24.00 target price on the restaurant operator’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target points to a potential upside of 0.63% from the company’s current price.

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. “

Ruth's Hospitality Group (RUTH) opened at $23.85 on Thursday. The company has a current ratio of 0.41, a quick ratio of 0.29 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.37. Ruth's Hospitality Group has a 1-year low of $16.65 and a 1-year high of $24.15. The stock has a market cap of $731.91, a PE ratio of 24.38, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.43 and a beta of 0.35.

Ruth's Hospitality Group (NASDAQ:RUTH) last issued its earnings results on Friday, November 3rd. The restaurant operator reported $0.06 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ 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 business had revenue of $85.16 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $87.20 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.10 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 1.7% on a year-over-year basis. equities analysts anticipate that Ruth's Hospitality Group will post 1.03 earnings per share for the current year.

Ruth's Hospitality Group announced that its board has authorized a share 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 purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are generally a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

In other Ruth's Hospitality Group news, COO Kevin W. Toomy sold 24,548 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $19.91, for a total transaction of $488,750.68. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 157,551 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,136,840.41. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, COO Kevin W. Toomy sold 1,856 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 16th. The stock was 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. Insiders sold a total of 44,404 shares of company stock worth $912,331 over the last 90 days. Company insiders own 7.45% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Assenagon Asset Management S.A. acquired a new stake in shares of Ruth's Hospitality Group during the 4th quarter worth approximately $3,216,000. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. grew its stake in shares of Ruth's Hospitality Group by 2.3% during the 4th quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 347,275 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $7,519,000 after purchasing an additional 7,760 shares during the period. Algert Global LLC grew its stake in shares of Ruth's Hospitality Group by 21.8% during the 3rd quarter. Algert Global LLC now owns 123,841 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $2,594,000 after purchasing an additional 22,160 shares during the period. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC acquired a new stake in Ruth's Hospitality Group in the 3rd quarter valued at $201,000. Finally, Allianz Asset Management GmbH grew its stake in Ruth's Hospitality Group by 73.5% in the 3rd quarter. Allianz Asset Management GmbH now owns 1,469,161 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $30,779,000 after acquiring an additional 622,386 shares during the period. 81.34% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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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