Ruth’s Hospitality Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:RUTH) Sees Large Growth in Short Interest

Ruth’s Hospitality Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:RUTH) saw a significant growth in short interest in the month of May. As of May 31st, there was short interest totalling 1,061,800 shares, a growth of 25.2% from the April 30th total of 847,900 shares. Currently, 3.8% of the company’s shares are short sold. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 184,600 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 5.8 days.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of RUTH. American Century Companies Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group by 896.7% during the 4th quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 293,600 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $6,674,000 after buying an additional 264,143 shares in the last quarter. Phocas Financial Corp. bought a new position in shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group during the 4th quarter worth approximately $4,216,000. Millennium Management LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group by 502.2% during the 4th quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 136,976 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $3,113,000 after buying an additional 114,231 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group by 2.4% during the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 4,549,035 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $103,401,000 after buying an additional 104,480 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG boosted its holdings in shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group by 131.9% during the 4th quarter. Deutsche Bank AG now owns 180,859 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $4,109,000 after buying an additional 102,881 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 82.00% of the company’s stock.

RUTH has been the subject of several recent research reports. BidaskClub raised Ruth’s Hospitality Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 27th. Stephens assumed coverage on Ruth’s Hospitality Group in a research note on Wednesday, April 17th. They issued an “equal weight” rating and a $28.00 price objective for the company. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, March 13th. Finally, Citigroup set a $28.00 target price on shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, March 8th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and five have issued a hold rating to the stock. Ruth’s Hospitality Group currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $30.00.

NASDAQ:RUTH traded down $0.03 on Thursday, reaching $22.72. 6,192 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 159,760. The company has a market capitalization of $694.03 million, a PE ratio of 16.33, a P/E/G ratio of 1.09 and a beta of 0.64. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.20, a quick ratio of 0.20 and a current ratio of 0.30. Ruth’s Hospitality Group has a 1-year low of $21.70 and a 1-year high of $33.95.

Ruth’s Hospitality Group (NASDAQ:RUTH) last released its earnings results on Friday, May 3rd. The restaurant operator reported $0.45 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.45. The business had revenue of $119.70 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $119.61 million. Ruth’s Hospitality Group had a net margin of 9.21% and a return on equity of 45.79%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.45 EPS. Research analysts predict that Ruth’s Hospitality Group will post 1.43 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, June 6th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, May 23rd were given a dividend of $0.13 per share. This represents a $0.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.29%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, May 22nd. Ruth’s Hospitality Group’s dividend payout ratio is presently 37.41%.

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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