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

Ruth’s Hospitality Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:RUTH) saw a large drop in short interest during the month of August. As of August 31st, there was short interest totalling 854,400 shares, a drop of 23.6% from the July 31st total of 1,118,000 shares. Currently, 3.1% of the shares of the company are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 187,100 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 4.6 days.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. BlackRock Inc. boosted its holdings in Ruth’s Hospitality Group by 2.0% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 4,579,391 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $103,998,000 after buying an additional 89,591 shares during the period. Bank of America Corp DE boosted its holdings in Ruth’s Hospitality Group by 1.4% in the 2nd quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 485,463 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $11,025,000 after buying an additional 6,564 shares during the period. TD Asset Management Inc. boosted its holdings in Ruth’s Hospitality Group by 9.1% in the 1st quarter. TD Asset Management Inc. now owns 442,100 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $11,313,000 after buying an additional 37,000 shares during the period. Nuveen Asset Management LLC bought a new position in Ruth’s Hospitality Group in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $8,513,000. Finally, Panagora Asset Management Inc. boosted its holdings in Ruth’s Hospitality Group by 0.8% in the 2nd quarter. Panagora Asset Management Inc. now owns 368,215 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $8,362,000 after buying an additional 3,062 shares during the period. 82.94% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

RUTH has been the subject of several research analyst reports. ValuEngine lowered shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 11th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, August 9th. Finally, BidaskClub upgraded shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and three have given a hold rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $28.00.

Shares of RUTH stock traded down $0.10 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $20.10. 5,892 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 277,062. The firm has a fifty day simple moving average of $20.35 and a 200 day simple moving average of $23.36. The company has a current ratio of 0.34, a quick ratio of 0.25 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.57. Ruth’s Hospitality Group has a 52-week low of $18.88 and a 52-week high of $31.67. The stock has a market capitalization of $604.38 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.55, a P/E/G ratio of 1.00 and a beta of 0.63.

Ruth’s Hospitality Group (NASDAQ:RUTH) last released its quarterly earnings data on Friday, August 2nd. The restaurant operator reported $0.31 EPS for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.31. The company had revenue of $110.24 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $112.41 million. Ruth’s Hospitality Group had a net margin of 9.14% and a return on equity of 44.15%. Sell-side analysts anticipate that Ruth’s Hospitality Group will post 1.4 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 5th. Investors of record on Thursday, August 22nd were issued a $0.13 dividend. This represents a $0.52 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.59%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, August 21st. Ruth’s Hospitality Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 37.41%.

Ruth’s Hospitality Group Company Profile

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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