Ruth’s Hospitality Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:RUTH) was downgraded by stock analysts at BidaskClub from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Thursday.

A number of other research firms have also recently weighed in on RUTH. Citigroup Inc. reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and set a $22.00 price objective (up previously from $20.00) on shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group in a research report on Monday, May 15th. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $20.00 price objective on shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group in a research report on Sunday, July 30th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 26th. Deutsche Bank AG reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $24.00 price objective (up previously from $22.50) on shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group in a research report on Monday, July 10th. Finally, Raymond James Financial, Inc. reaffirmed a “market perform” rating on shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group in a research report on Tuesday, July 25th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $21.60.

Shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group (RUTH) traded up 1.03% during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $19.65. The company had a trading volume of 117,109 shares. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $21.37 and a 200 day moving average price of $19.86. Ruth’s Hospitality Group has a 52-week low of $13.74 and a 52-week high of $22.65. The firm has a market capitalization of $597.50 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.42 and a beta of 0.29.

Ruth’s Hospitality Group (NASDAQ:RUTH) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Friday, July 28th. The restaurant operator reported $0.25 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.24 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $100 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $99.34 million. Ruth’s Hospitality Group had a net margin of 7.97% and a return on equity of 37.86%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 7.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.22 EPS. Analysts expect that Ruth’s Hospitality Group will post $1.07 earnings per share for the current year.

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In other Ruth’s Hospitality Group news, CEO Michael P. Odonnell sold 81,800 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $21.05, for a total value of $1,721,890.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 1,194,524 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $25,144,730.20. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, COO Cheryl Janet Henry sold 21,077 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $21.08, for a total transaction of $444,303.16. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 381,617 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $8,044,486.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 108,877 shares of company stock valued at $2,293,273 in the last three months. 6.74% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. State of Alaska Department of Revenue boosted its position in shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group by 77.1% in the second quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 5,826 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $126,000 after buying an additional 2,536 shares in the last quarter. Mason Street Advisors LLC boosted its position in shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group by 7.0% in the first quarter. Mason Street Advisors LLC now owns 6,935 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $139,000 after buying an additional 455 shares in the last quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA boosted its position in shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group by 9.6% in the first quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 7,860 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $158,000 after buying an additional 689 shares in the last quarter. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group during the first quarter valued at approximately $184,000. Finally, HL Financial Services LLC acquired a new position in shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group during the second quarter valued at approximately $206,000. 82.94% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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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