ValuEngine lowered shares of RCI Hospitality (NASDAQ:RICK) from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday.

Separately, Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of RCI Hospitality from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Friday, January 11th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $29.50.

Shares of RICK opened at $22.03 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 0.86, a quick ratio of 0.77 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.87. RCI Hospitality has a twelve month low of $18.50 and a twelve month high of $34.84. The stock has a market cap of $214.37 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.11 and a beta of 0.89.

RCI Hospitality (NASDAQ:RICK) last issued its earnings results on Monday, February 11th. The restaurant operator reported $0.61 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.47 by $0.14. RCI Hospitality had a net margin of 8.15% and a return on equity of 14.03%. The company had revenue of $44.02 million for the quarter. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.53 earnings per share. Equities analysts anticipate that RCI Hospitality will post 2.4 EPS for the current year.

RCI Hospitality declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback program on Thursday, January 3rd that authorizes the company to buyback $10.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the restaurant operator to buy up to 4.6% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are typically a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, March 25th. Stockholders of record on Monday, March 11th will be given a $0.03 dividend. This represents a $0.12 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.54%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, March 8th. RCI Hospitality’s dividend payout ratio is 5.50%.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC grew its position in RCI Hospitality by 1.3% in the third quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 35,845 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $1,061,000 after acquiring an additional 457 shares during the last quarter. Connor Clark & Lunn Investment Management Ltd. lifted its stake in shares of RCI Hospitality by 2.4% in the fourth quarter. Connor Clark & Lunn Investment Management Ltd. now owns 25,700 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $574,000 after acquiring an additional 600 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. lifted its stake in shares of RCI Hospitality by 0.3% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 473,394 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $10,572,000 after acquiring an additional 1,417 shares during the period. Northern Trust Corp lifted its stake in shares of RCI Hospitality by 1.7% in the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 125,890 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $3,984,000 after acquiring an additional 2,101 shares during the period. Finally, First Trust Advisors LP lifted its stake in shares of RCI Hospitality by 18.7% in the fourth quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 16,291 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $364,000 after acquiring an additional 2,563 shares during the period. 50.81% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About RCI Hospitality

RCI Hospitality Holdings, Inc, through its subsidiaries, engages in the hospitality and related businesses in the United States. It operates in Nightclubs, Bombshells, and Media Group segments. The company owns and/or operates upscale adult nightclubs serving primarily businessmen and professionals under the Rick's Cabaret, Jaguars Club, Tootsie's Cabaret, XTC Cabaret, Club Onyx, Hoops Cabaret and Sports Bar, Scarlett's Cabaret, Temptations Adult Cabaret, Foxy's Cabaret, Vivid Cabaret, Downtown Cabaret, Cabaret East, The Seville, Silver City Cabaret, and Kappa Men's Club.

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