Shares of high-end restaurant chain Ruth's Hospitality Group (NASDAQ:RUTH) were surging 15% higher in midday trading Monday after an analyst boosted her price target for the eatery by 25% to $10 a share.
Piper Sandler analyst Nicole Miller Regan raised her outlook for the stock from its previous level of $8. But she was actually just playing catch-up with the market, which had already seen fit to lift the restaurant's stock above that price on Friday.
Undoubtedly the stock is getting caught up in the excitement of the economy reopening, which is lifting shares of most restaurants and retailers today.
Ruth's Chris Steak House didn't have the luxury of remaining open for takeout or delivery during the pandemic as consumers think a high-priced steak is best experienced in the restaurant, not from plastic takeout containers.
I had noted last Friday that Ruth's might benefit from a reopened economy because before the pandemic, high-end eateries were one of the few establishments enjoying rising levels of customer traffic. While its shares were depressed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they could trace their steps to their pre-pandemic highs of $25 a share.
Regan didn't seem quite as hopeful, though, because despite increasing her price target, she left her neutral rating on the stock in place.