Shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group Inc. (NASDAQ:RUTH) have been given an average rating of “Buy” by the five ratings firms that are covering the company. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. The average 12 month price objective among analysts that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $17.75.

A number of research firms recently issued reports on RUTH. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $18.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, November 2nd. Raymond James Financial Inc. upgraded shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $17.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, October 18th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group in a research note on Wednesday, August 10th.

Shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group (NASDAQ:RUTH) opened at 17.45 on Tuesday. The company has a market cap of $534.65 million, a P/E ratio of 18.72 and a beta of 0.62. The company’s 50 day moving average is $15.35 and its 200-day moving average is $15.67. Ruth’s Hospitality Group has a 12 month low of $13.74 and a 12 month high of $18.78.

Ruth’s Hospitality Group (NASDAQ:RUTH) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Friday, October 28th. The company reported $0.10 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.09 by $0.01. Ruth’s Hospitality Group had a net margin of 8.03% and a return on equity of 34.67%. The company had revenue of $83.77 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $83.49 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.08 EPS. Ruth’s Hospitality Group’s quarterly revenue was up 4.3% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts expect that Ruth’s Hospitality Group will post $0.95 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, November 23rd. Shareholders of record on Thursday, November 10th were issued a $0.07 dividend. This represents a $0.28 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.60%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, November 8th. Ruth’s Hospitality Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 30.11%.

In other Ruth’s Hospitality Group news, COO Kevin W. Toomy sold 40,971 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, November 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $16.54, for a total value of $677,660.34. Following the completion of the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 170,373 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,817,969.42. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. 6.74% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD bought a new stake in shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group during the third quarter worth $321,000. LPL Financial LLC increased its position in Ruth’s Hospitality Group by 67.2% in the third quarter. LPL Financial LLC now owns 25,085 shares of the company’s stock worth $352,000 after buying an additional 10,085 shares during the last quarter. Credit Suisse AG increased its position in Ruth’s Hospitality Group by 29.6% in the third quarter. Credit Suisse AG now owns 65,540 shares of the company’s stock worth $925,000 after buying an additional 14,954 shares during the last quarter. Phocas Financial Corp. increased its position in Ruth’s Hospitality Group by 6.5% in the third quarter. Phocas Financial Corp. now owns 528,597 shares of the company’s stock worth $7,464,000 after buying an additional 32,237 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Verition Fund Management LLC increased its position in Ruth’s Hospitality Group by 24.7% in the third quarter. Verition Fund Management LLC now owns 12,887 shares of the company’s stock worth $182,000 after buying an additional 2,550 shares during the last quarter. 81.08% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other 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: the Company-owned steakhouse restaurant segment and the franchise operations segment. The Company’s Ruth’s Chris restaurants cater to special occasion diners and frequent customers, in addition to the business clientele.

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