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

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of RUTH. Geode Capital Management LLC increased its position in shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group by 9.4% during the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 366,538 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $8,331,000 after acquiring an additional 31,586 shares during the period. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan purchased a new position in Ruth’s Hospitality Group in the fourth quarter valued at $185,000. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans increased its holdings in Ruth’s Hospitality Group by 2.2% in the fourth quarter. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans now owns 20,706 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $471,000 after buying an additional 455 shares during the last quarter. Millennium Management LLC increased its holdings in Ruth’s Hospitality Group by 502.2% in the fourth quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 136,976 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $3,113,000 after buying an additional 114,231 shares during the last quarter. Finally, FMR LLC increased its holdings in Ruth’s Hospitality Group by 16.3% in the fourth quarter. FMR LLC now owns 73,673 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $1,674,000 after buying an additional 10,312 shares during the last quarter. 83.20% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

NASDAQ:RUTH traded down $1.00 during trading hours on Wednesday, reaching $19.94. 176,691 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 187,720. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.57, a current ratio of 0.34 and a quick ratio of 0.25. The stock has a 50-day simple moving average of $22.02. Ruth’s Hospitality Group has a twelve month low of $19.92 and a twelve month high of $31.90. The stock has a market cap of $631.80 million, a P/E ratio of 14.35, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.04 and a beta of 0.56.

Ruth’s Hospitality Group (NASDAQ:RUTH) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Friday, August 2nd. The restaurant operator reported $0.31 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.31. Ruth’s Hospitality Group had a return on equity of 44.15% and a net margin of 9.14%. The business had revenue of $110.24 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $112.41 million. As a group, analysts forecast that Ruth’s Hospitality Group will post 1.42 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 5th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, August 22nd will be given a dividend of $0.13 per share. This represents a $0.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.61%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, August 21st. Ruth’s Hospitality Group’s dividend payout ratio is currently 37.41%.

A number of research analysts have commented on the company. Zacks Investment Research cut Ruth’s Hospitality Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, August 9th. Stephens assumed coverage on Ruth’s Hospitality Group in a research note on Wednesday, April 17th. They set an “equal weight” rating and a $28.00 price target on the stock. BidaskClub cut Ruth’s Hospitality Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Saturday. Finally, ValuEngine cut Ruth’s Hospitality Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 11th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and three have given a hold rating to the company. Ruth’s Hospitality Group currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $30.00.

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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