Ruth’s Hospitality Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:RUTH) COO Kevin W. Toomy sold 1,856 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $20.00, for a total transaction of $37,120.00. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 157,551 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,151,020. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink.

Ruth’s Hospitality Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:RUTH) opened at $20.25 on Tuesday. The company has a market cap of $620.87, a PE ratio of 20.68, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.35 and a beta of 0.34. Ruth’s Hospitality Group, Inc. has a 1 year low of $16.50 and a 1 year high of $22.65. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.37, a current ratio of 0.41 and a quick ratio of 0.29.

Ruth’s Hospitality Group (NASDAQ:RUTH) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Friday, November 3rd. The restaurant operator reported $0.06 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.09 by ($0.03). Ruth’s Hospitality Group had a return on equity of 35.46% and a net margin of 7.47%. The business had revenue of $85.16 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $87.20 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.10 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.7% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts forecast that Ruth’s Hospitality Group, Inc. will post 1.03 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 22nd. Investors of record on Thursday, November 9th will be paid a dividend of $0.09 per share. This represents a $0.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.78%. This is a positive change from Ruth’s Hospitality Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.06. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, November 8th. Ruth’s Hospitality Group’s dividend payout ratio is presently 37.90%.

Ruth’s Hospitality Group declared that its Board of Directors has approved a stock buyback plan on Friday, November 3rd that authorizes the company to repurchase $60.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the restaurant operator to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are usually a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

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RUTH has been the subject of several analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 3rd. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 3rd. Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $20.00 target price on shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group in a research note on Sunday, July 30th. Finally, Raymond James Financial, Inc. reiterated a “market perform” rating on shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group in a research note on Tuesday, July 25th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the stock. Ruth’s Hospitality Group presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $22.00.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in RUTH. State of Alaska Department of Revenue increased its stake in Ruth’s Hospitality Group by 77.1% in the second quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 5,826 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $126,000 after purchasing an additional 2,536 shares during the last quarter. Advisor Group Inc. purchased a new position in Ruth’s Hospitality Group in the second quarter valued at approximately $150,000. Macquarie Group Ltd. purchased a new position in Ruth’s Hospitality Group in the third quarter valued at approximately $166,000. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC purchased a new position in Ruth’s Hospitality Group in the third quarter valued at approximately $201,000. Finally, HL Financial Services LLC purchased a new position in Ruth’s Hospitality Group in the second quarter valued at approximately $206,000. Institutional investors own 81.31% of the company’s stock.

About Ruth’s Hospitality Group

Ruth’s Hospitality Group, Inc develops and operates fine dining restaurants under the name, Ruth’s Chris Steak House. The Company operates through two segments. As of December 25, 2016, the Company-owned steakhouse restaurant segment included 68 Ruth’s Chris Steak House restaurants and one Ruth’s Chris Steak House restaurant, and the franchise operations segment included 81 franchisee-owned Ruth’s Chris Steak House restaurants.

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