Ruth’s Hospitality Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:RUTH) saw a large increase in short interest in the month of July. As of July 31st, there was short interest totalling 1,118,000 shares, an increase of 20.7% from the June 30th total of 926,600 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 179,400 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 6.2 days. Approximately 4.0% of the company’s shares are sold short.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Advisors Preferred LLC bought a new position in shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group in the 2nd quarter worth $25,000. First Hawaiian Bank bought a new position in shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group in the 1st quarter worth $38,000. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC bought a new position in shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group in the 2nd quarter worth $42,000. Meeder Asset Management Inc. bought a new position in shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group in the 1st quarter worth $57,000. Finally, Pacer Advisors Inc. bought a new position in shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group in the 2nd quarter worth $163,000. 83.20% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

NASDAQ RUTH traded down $0.39 on Thursday, reaching $19.55. 3,373 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 213,340. The company has a current ratio of 0.34, a quick ratio of 0.25 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.57. The stock’s fifty day simple moving average is $22.02. The company has a market cap of $628.18 million, a P/E ratio of 14.07, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.03 and a beta of 0.56. Ruth’s Hospitality Group has a 12 month low of $19.92 and a 12 month high of $31.90.

Ruth’s Hospitality Group (NASDAQ:RUTH) last issued its earnings results on Friday, August 2nd. The restaurant operator reported $0.31 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.31. The business had revenue of $110.24 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $112.41 million. Ruth’s Hospitality Group had a return on equity of 44.15% and a net margin of 9.14%. Equities analysts anticipate that Ruth’s Hospitality Group will post 1.42 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 5th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, August 22nd will be given a $0.13 dividend. This represents a $0.52 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.66%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, August 21st. Ruth’s Hospitality Group’s payout ratio is 37.41%.

RUTH has been the subject of a number of research analyst reports. ValuEngine lowered Ruth’s Hospitality Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 11th. Stephens initiated coverage on Ruth’s Hospitality Group in a research report on Wednesday, April 17th. They set an “equal weight” rating and a $28.00 target price for the company. Zacks Investment Research lowered Ruth’s Hospitality Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, August 9th. Finally, BidaskClub lowered Ruth’s Hospitality Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Saturday, August 10th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and three have issued a hold rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $30.00.

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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