Zacks: Analysts Anticipate Ruth’s Hospitality Group, Inc. (RUTH) Will Announce Earnings of $0.38 Per Share

Wall Street brokerages expect Ruth’s Hospitality Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:RUTH) to announce earnings per share (EPS) of $0.38 for the current fiscal quarter, according to Zacks Investment Research. Three analysts have issued estimates for Ruth’s Hospitality Group’s earnings, with estimates ranging from $0.36 to $0.41. Ruth’s Hospitality Group reported earnings of $0.30 per share during the same quarter last year, which would indicate a positive year-over-year growth rate of 26.7%. The business is expected to report its next earnings results on Friday, February 16th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Ruth’s Hospitality Group will report full year earnings of $1.04 per share for the current fiscal year, with EPS estimates ranging from $1.01 to $1.06. For the next financial year, analysts forecast that the firm will post earnings of $1.15 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $1.14 to $1.17. Zacks Investment Research’s earnings per share calculations are a mean average based on a survey of research firms that cover Ruth’s Hospitality Group.

Ruth’s Hospitality Group (NASDAQ:RUTH) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Friday, November 3rd. The restaurant operator reported $0.06 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.09 by ($0.03). Ruth’s Hospitality Group had a net margin of 7.47% and a return on equity of 35.46%. The company had revenue of $85.16 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $87.20 million. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.10 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 1.7% on a year-over-year basis.

A number of research analysts recently issued reports on the company. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Ruth’s Hospitality Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 3rd. BidaskClub raised Ruth’s Hospitality Group from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, August 14th. Finally, Jefferies Group reissued a “hold” rating and set a $20.00 price target on shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group in a research report on Thursday, August 31st. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $22.00.

Shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group (NASDAQ RUTH) traded up $0.30 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $21.70. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 167,300 shares, compared to its average volume of 225,003. The company has a current ratio of 0.41, a quick ratio of 0.29 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.37. Ruth’s Hospitality Group has a 12-month low of $16.55 and a 12-month high of $22.65. The firm has a market cap of $684.18, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.29, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.45 and a beta of 0.35.

Ruth’s Hospitality Group declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback program on Friday, November 3rd that authorizes the company to repurchase $60.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the restaurant operator to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are often an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, November 22nd. Stockholders of record on Thursday, November 9th were issued a $0.09 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, November 8th. This is a boost from Ruth’s Hospitality Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.06. This represents a $0.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.66%. Ruth’s Hospitality Group’s dividend payout ratio is presently 37.50%.

In related news, COO Kevin W. Toomy sold 1,856 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $20.00, for a total transaction of $37,120.00. Following the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 157,551 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,151,020. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, COO Kevin W. Toomy sold 24,548 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $19.91, for a total value of $488,750.68. Following the sale, the chief operating officer now owns 157,551 shares in the company, valued at $3,136,840.41. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 7.45% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in RUTH. Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. boosted its position in Ruth’s Hospitality Group by 0.4% in the 2nd quarter. Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. now owns 47,235 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $1,027,000 after buying an additional 200 shares during the last quarter. Texas Permanent School Fund boosted its position in Ruth’s Hospitality Group by 1.2% in the 2nd quarter. Texas Permanent School Fund now owns 21,730 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $473,000 after buying an additional 259 shares during the last quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. boosted its position in Ruth’s Hospitality Group by 1.1% in the 2nd quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 63,683 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $1,385,000 after buying an additional 683 shares during the last quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC boosted its position in Ruth’s Hospitality Group by 3.1% in the 2nd quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC now owns 44,698 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $972,000 after buying an additional 1,326 shares during the last quarter. Finally, TD Asset Management Inc. boosted its position in Ruth’s Hospitality Group by 17.3% in the 2nd quarter. TD Asset Management Inc. now owns 12,200 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $265,000 after buying an additional 1,800 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 81.32% of the company’s stock.

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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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