Taking a Deep Dive Into RUTH's Latest Earnings Beat

Ruth’s Hospitality Group reported earnings on May 7

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Ruth's Hospitality Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:RUTH) is the largest fine dining steakhouse company in the United States, by the total number of company-owned and franchisee-owned restaurants. Ruth's Hospitality operates over 140 Ruth’s Chris Steak House locations worldwide.

Earlier this month Ruth’s Hospitality reported its first-quarter results, highlighting a strengthening sales trend and an accelerated development plan. Nonetheless, RUTH's restaurant sales in the first quarter of 2021 were $81.6 million compared to $103 million in the first quarter of 2020 marking a substantial downturn. RUTH also reported an earnings per share (EPS) of $0.26, taking Ruth's Hospitality to four consecutive quarterly earnings beats.

For the second quarter of 2020, Ruth's Hospitality beat analyst estimates by a margin of $0.05 and reported an EPS of -$0.48. For the third quarter of 2020, RUTH's EPS increased to -$0.04 and beat expectations by a margin of $0.15. For the final quarter of 2020, Ruth's Hospitality reported another increase in earnings, rising to $0.03 per share and also beating estimates by a margin of $0.03. As previously mentioned, RUTH posted an EPS of $0.26 in its most recent quarterly report, beating expectations by a margin of $0.16.

Ruth's Hospitality stock has nearly tripled over the past 12 months, and is now up 291% since tapping a decade-low of $6.15. Additionally, shares of Ruth's Hospitality stock have increased 35% year-to-date, but RUTH is currently trading slightly below its its May 10 annual high of $28.73.

Ruth's Hospitality had reported multiple years of consecutive revenue and net income growth prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. In general, there is nothing negatively or positively resounding about Ruth's Hospitality right now. RUTH has merits as a recovery play merely because of its past performance, but maintains a level of risk that likely doesn’t justify the potential reward.

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