Rent-A-Center Inc. (RCII) Lowered to “Sell” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Rent-A-Center Inc. (NASDAQ:RCII) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report sent to investors on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Rent-A-Center's shares have underperformed the industry in the past six months, as investors remain concerned about the company’s waning top and bottom lines. In third-quarter 2017, the company posted a loss of 15 cents a share that missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate and also fell sharply from the year-ago period. Top line also slid year over year and came below the consensus mark, after surpassing the same in the preceding quarter. Comps also declined 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 Acceptance Now 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. It is exploring strategic and financial alternatives.”

Several other equities research analysts have also issued reports on RCII. BidaskClub raised Rent-A-Center from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research report on Saturday, August 5th. Loop Capital set a $8.00 target price on Rent-A-Center and gave the company a sell rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 31st. Stifel Nicolaus reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $10.50 target price on shares of Rent-A-Center in a research report on Wednesday, November 1st. Raymond James Financial, Inc. reaffirmed a market perform rating on shares of Rent-A-Center in a research report on Wednesday, October 25th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC decreased their price objective on Rent-A-Center from $12.00 to $11.00 and set a hold rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, November 1st. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $11.21.

Shares of Rent-A-Center (RCII) opened at $11.55 on Wednesday. Rent-A-Center has a 12-month low of $7.76 and a 12-month high of $13.89. The company has a current ratio of 2.55, a quick ratio of 0.46 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.69.

Rent-A-Center (NASDAQ:RCII) last announced its earnings results on Monday, October 30th. The company reported ($0.15) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of ($0.08) by ($0.07). Rent-A-Center had a negative net margin of 6.35% and a negative return on equity of 0.66%. The business had revenue of $643.97 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $649.09 million. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.11 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 7.2% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts predict that Rent-A-Center will post -0.19 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. purchased a new stake in Rent-A-Center in the 2nd quarter worth about $120,000. State of Alaska Department of Revenue increased its holdings in Rent-A-Center by 77.1% in the 2nd quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 10,448 shares of the company’s stock worth $122,000 after acquiring an additional 4,548 shares during the last quarter. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC purchased a new stake in Rent-A-Center in the 2nd quarter worth about $132,000. Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. purchased a new stake in Rent-A-Center in the 3rd quarter worth about $132,000. Finally, Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in Rent-A-Center in the 2nd quarter worth about $136,000.

About Rent-A-Center

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.

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