Ruth's Hospitality Group
Altman Z-Score, Trailing 12 Months: 1.78
Altman Z-Score, Last Fiscal Year: 1.52Ruth's Hospitality Group (RUTH) Ruth's Hospitality improved its Z-Score from last year to a reading of 1.78, but that ranking kept it just below the cutoff, meaning the operator of Ruth's Chris Steak House and Mitchell's Fish Market chains is considered distressed, and is more likely to go bankrupt. RealMoney.com Contributor Alan Farley was fairly bullish on the stock. He reported that, "in addition to buyout speculation, this eatery has the added benefit of catering to high-end customers. These folks haven't been hurt by the economic slowdown, at least in the way that affects most pocketbook issues, so their eating and buying habits haven't changed all that much. It's the same dynamic that has made jewelry giant Tiffany (TIF) one of the strongest performing retail stocks of 2011."
The stock remains far lower than its pre-recession levels near $20 but it has gained around 20% in the past 12 months. Even so, Ruth's overall profit fell to its lowest level in years in 2010. But many analysts are optimistic that as the economy improves, high-end diners will return to their spending ways. The consensus is for Ruth's earnings-per-share to grow to 36 cents in 2011, and to 45 cents in 2012.
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