Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Rent-A-Center (RCII) to Sell

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Rent-A-Center (NASDAQ:RCII) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report report published on Wednesday, November 15th.

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 analysts have also issued reports on the company. Jefferies Group dropped their price target on Rent-A-Center from $12.00 to $11.00 and set a hold rating on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, November 1st. Loop Capital set a $8.00 target price on Rent-A-Center and gave the stock 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 reaffirmed a market perform rating on shares of Rent-A-Center in a research report on Wednesday, October 25th. Finally, BidaskClub lowered Rent-A-Center from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, August 17th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $11.21.

Rent-A-Center (RCII) traded up $0.18 during trading hours on Wednesday, hitting $11.68. The stock had a trading volume of 1,137,181 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,764,576. 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 has a 52 week low of $7.76 and a 52 week high of $13.89.

Rent-A-Center (NASDAQ:RCII) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Monday, October 30th. The company reported ($0.15) EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.08) by ($0.07). The company had revenue of $643.97 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $649.09 million. Rent-A-Center had a negative return on equity of 0.66% and a negative net margin of 6.35%. Rent-A-Center’s revenue was down 7.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.11 earnings per share. sell-side analysts anticipate that Rent-A-Center will post -0.19 earnings per share for the current year.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its stake in shares of Rent-A-Center by 3.2% during the 1st quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 7,115,980 shares of the company’s stock worth $63,118,000 after acquiring an additional 223,478 shares during the period. Frontier Capital Management Co. LLC lifted its holdings in Rent-A-Center by 2.2% during the 3rd quarter. Frontier Capital Management Co. LLC now owns 3,215,402 shares of the company’s stock worth $36,913,000 after purchasing an additional 68,605 shares in the last quarter. Arlington Value Capital LLC lifted its holdings in Rent-A-Center by 85.2% during the 2nd quarter. Arlington Value Capital LLC now owns 2,722,514 shares of the company’s stock worth $31,907,000 after purchasing an additional 1,252,756 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its holdings in Rent-A-Center by 1.0% during the 1st quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 2,276,061 shares of the company’s stock worth $20,190,000 after purchasing an additional 23,437 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Brandes Investment Partners LP lifted its holdings in Rent-A-Center by 2.4% during the 2nd quarter. Brandes Investment Partners LP now owns 2,072,495 shares of the company’s stock worth $24,290,000 after purchasing an additional 49,068 shares in the last quarter.

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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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