Rent-A-Center Inc. (RCII) Rating Increased to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Rent-A-Center Inc. (NASDAQ:RCII) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Rent-A-Center have underperformed the industry so far in the year. This is quite evident as investors remain concerned about the company’s waning top and bottom lines. In the second quarter of 2017, this rent-to-own operator posted a loss of $0.01 per share that missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate and also fell substantially from the year-ago period. Total revenue also slid year over year but managed to beat the respective estimate, after missing the same in the trailing seven quarters. Comps also fell but improved sequentially. Nevertheless, the company is concentrating on a new labor model, supply chain initiative and productivity enhancements. These endeavors are directed toward improving the performance of Core U.S. segment, optimizing the AcceptanceNOW business and enhancing distribution channels as well as integrating retail and online offerings. The company is also rationalizing its store base and lowering its debt load.”

RCII has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Stifel Nicolaus reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $11.50 price target (up previously from $8.50) on shares of Rent-A-Center in a research report on Monday, April 17th. Raymond James Financial, Inc. raised Rent-A-Center from a “market perform” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $15.00 price objective for the company in a report on Wednesday, April 12th. Stephens downgraded Rent-A-Center from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating in a report on Friday, March 31st. Loop Capital reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $8.00 price objective on shares of Rent-A-Center in a report on Wednesday, April 12th. Finally, Janney Montgomery Scott initiated coverage on Rent-A-Center in a report on Thursday, April 6th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $12.00 price objective for the company. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating, three have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $11.00.

Shares of Rent-A-Center (NASDAQ:RCII) traded up 1.45% during trading on Friday, reaching $13.27. 956,462 shares of the company traded hands. Rent-A-Center has a 12 month low of $7.76 and a 12 month high of $13.43. The stock’s market cap is $705.91 million. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $12.04 and its 200-day moving average price is $10.43.

Rent-A-Center (NASDAQ:RCII) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 26th. The company reported ($0.01) earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.07 by $0.08. Rent-A-Center had a negative return on equity of 30.44% and a negative net margin of 4.77%. The firm had revenue of $667.64 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $667.04 million. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.41 EPS. The company’s revenue was down 10.9% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts expect that Rent-A-Center will post $0.25 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In other Rent-A-Center news, Director Steven L. Pepper purchased 45,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 23rd. The shares were acquired at an average price of $10.93 per share, for a total transaction of $491,850.00. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Chairman Mark E. Speese purchased 100,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 10th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $11.70 per share, for a total transaction of $1,170,000.00. Following the purchase, the chairman now owns 844,627 shares in the company, valued at approximately $9,882,135.90. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. 3.40% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of RCII. Engaged Capital LLC boosted its position in Rent-A-Center by 290.2% in the first quarter. Engaged Capital LLC now owns 8,983,609 shares of the company’s stock valued at $79,685,000 after buying an additional 6,681,233 shares during the last quarter. Nomura Holdings Inc. boosted its position in Rent-A-Center by 11,161.3% in the first quarter. Nomura Holdings Inc. now owns 1,925,688 shares of the company’s stock valued at $17,122,000 after buying an additional 1,908,588 shares during the last quarter. Norges Bank purchased a new position in Rent-A-Center during the fourth quarter valued at $16,127,000. FMR LLC purchased a new position in Rent-A-Center during the first quarter valued at $10,676,000. Finally, Blackstone Group L.P. purchased a new position in Rent-A-Center during the first quarter valued at $10,560,000.

Rent-A-Center Company Profile

Rent-A-Center, Inc is a rent-to-own operator in North America. The Company provides an opportunity to obtain ownership of products, such as consumer electronics, appliances, computers (including tablets), smartphones and furniture (including accessories), under rental purchase agreements. The Company operates in four segments: Core U.S., Acceptance Now, Mexico, and Franchising.

Analyst Recommendations for Rent-A-Center (NASDAQ:RCII)

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