Short Interest in Rent-A-Center Inc (RCII) Drops By 24.4%

Rent-A-Center Inc (NASDAQ:RCII) was the recipient of a large drop in short interest in March. As of March 29th, there was short interest totalling 4,100,020 shares, a drop of 24.4% from the March 15th total of 5,421,593 shares. Approximately 7.7% of the shares of the stock are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 1,592,018 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 2.6 days.

In other Rent-A-Center news, CAO Christopher A. Korst sold 9,600 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, January 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $17.39, for a total value of $166,944.00. Following the sale, the chief accounting officer now owns 50,964 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $886,263.96. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Fred E. Herman sold 2,227 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, January 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $17.50, for a total value of $38,972.50. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 28,506 shares in the company, valued at approximately $498,855. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.88% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in RCII. LMR Partners LLP bought a new position in shares of Rent-A-Center in the 4th quarter valued at $31,898,000. Marshall Wace LLP bought a new position in Rent-A-Center during the 3rd quarter worth $24,671,000. Millennium Management LLC raised its position in Rent-A-Center by 2,935.8% during the 4th quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 1,385,377 shares of the company’s stock worth $22,429,000 after purchasing an additional 1,339,742 shares during the last quarter. Engaged Capital LLC raised its position in Rent-A-Center by 17.6% during the 4th quarter. Engaged Capital LLC now owns 5,333,609 shares of the company’s stock worth $86,351,000 after purchasing an additional 800,000 shares during the last quarter. Finally, D. E. Shaw & Co. Inc. raised its position in Rent-A-Center by 191.0% during the 4th quarter. D. E. Shaw & Co. Inc. now owns 876,742 shares of the company’s stock worth $14,194,000 after purchasing an additional 575,452 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 92.26% of the company’s stock.

Shares of RCII opened at $20.49 on Friday. Rent-A-Center has a 52 week low of $8.93 and a 52 week high of $22.77. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.11 billion, a PE ratio of 19.33 and a beta of 0.29. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.88, a current ratio of 2.46 and a quick ratio of 0.67.

Rent-A-Center (NASDAQ:RCII) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Monday, February 25th. The company reported $0.35 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.19 by $0.16. Rent-A-Center had a return on equity of 21.15% and a net margin of 0.32%. The company had revenue of $661.75 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $654.47 million. As a group, analysts expect that Rent-A-Center will post 1.88 EPS for the current year.

A number of equities research analysts have weighed in on RCII shares. Raymond James raised Rent-A-Center from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $16.00 target price on the stock in a report on Wednesday, December 19th. Janney Montgomery Scott upgraded Rent-A-Center from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 18th. BidaskClub upgraded Rent-A-Center from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, December 27th. Stephens cut Rent-A-Center from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating and set a $16.47 price target for the company. in a research note on Thursday, January 3rd. Finally, Jefferies Financial Group increased their price target on Rent-A-Center from $19.50 to $22.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, March 18th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $17.92.

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About Rent-A-Center

Rent-A-Center, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, leases household durable goods to customers on a rent-to-own basis. The company operates through four segments: Core U.S., Acceptance Now, Mexico, and Franchising. It offers durable products, such as consumer electronics; appliances; computers, including tablets; smartphones; wheels and tires; and furniture, including accessories under rental purchase agreements.

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