Rent-A-Center Inc. (NASDAQ:RCII) Stock Rating Lowered by Zacks Investment Research

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

According to Zacks, “Rent-A-Center has underperformed the Zacks categorized industry in the past six months. We remained concerned about the company’s top and bottom line performance which has been declining year-over-year. Moreover, total revenue has also missed the consensus mark for the seventh straight quarter. Comparable store sales have also witnessed a sharp decline in the first-quarter 2017. For the second-quarter the Zacks Consensus Estimate has witnessed downward revision in the past 30 days. However, 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.”

A number of other brokerages have also weighed in on RCII. Loop Capital lowered Rent-A-Center from a hold rating to a sell rating and set a $8.00 price objective on the stock. in a report on Wednesday, June 7th. Jefferies Group LLC cut their price objective on Rent-A-Center from $12.00 to $9.00 and set a hold rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, May 3rd. Stifel Nicolaus reissued a hold rating and issued a $11.50 price objective on shares of Rent-A-Center in a report on Sunday, April 23rd. Raymond James Financial, Inc. raised Rent-A-Center from a market perform rating to a strong-buy rating and set a $15.00 target price on the stock in a report on Wednesday, April 12th. Finally, Stephens set a $9.00 target price on Rent-A-Center and gave the stock a sell rating in a report on Thursday, April 6th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating, two have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $10.75.

Rent-A-Center (NASDAQ:RCII) opened at 11.31 on Tuesday. The stock’s market capitalization is $601.65 million. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $11.74 and a 200 day moving average price of $10.36. Rent-A-Center has a 12 month low of $7.76 and a 12 month high of $13.73.

Rent-A-Center (NASDAQ:RCII) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Monday, May 1st. The company reported $0.04 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.02) by $0.06. The business had revenue of $742 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $733.43 million. Rent-A-Center had a negative return on equity of 30.44% and a negative net margin of 4.77%. The company’s revenue was down 11.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.48 earnings per share. Equities analysts anticipate that Rent-A-Center will post $0.34 earnings per share for the current year.

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The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, July 20th. Investors of record on Monday, July 3rd will be issued a dividend of $0.08 per share. This represents a $0.32 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.83%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, June 29th.

In related news, Chairman Mark E. Speese bought 100,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 10th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $11.70 per share, with a total value of $1,170,000.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the chairman now directly owns 844,627 shares in the company, valued at $9,882,135.90. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Steven L. Pepper bought 45,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 23rd. The shares were bought at an average cost of $10.93 per share, for a total transaction of $491,850.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. 3.40% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Engaged Capital LLC raised its stake 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 period. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. raised its stake in Rent-A-Center by 39.9% in the first quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 586,554 shares of the company’s stock valued at $5,202,000 after buying an additional 167,333 shares during the period. Lapides Asset Management LLC raised its stake in Rent-A-Center by 4.9% in the first quarter. Lapides Asset Management LLC now owns 70,000 shares of the company’s stock valued at $621,000 after buying an additional 3,300 shares during the period. FNY Partners Fund LP bought a new stake in Rent-A-Center during the first quarter valued at approximately $312,000. Finally, Credit Suisse AG raised its stake in Rent-A-Center by 5.2% in the first quarter. Credit Suisse AG now owns 161,744 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,434,000 after buying an additional 8,035 shares during the period. 96.81% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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.

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

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