Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Rent-A-Center Inc. (NASDAQ:RCII) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Monday morning.

According to Zacks, “Rent-A-Center’s extensive network of stores helps it penetrate target markets effectively. The company is taking prudent steps to optimize rental merchandise levels in accordance with sales trends. Moreover, management is focusing on a new labor model and supply chain initiative that it believes to generate substantial cost savings in 2016. The company is also concentrating on value-based pricing strategy and focusing on lowering its debt load. These seem inevitable following the company’s dismal second-quarter 2016 results. After registering earnings beat in the five straight quarters, Rent-A-Center succumbed to a negative earnings surprise in the second quarter, which also marks the fourth consecutive sales miss. Both top and bottom lines also declined year over year. Following the murky performance, management lowered its previously issued outlook for 2016.”

Rent-A-Center (NASDAQ:RCII) opened at 12.961 on Monday. The company’s market capitalization is $688.44 million. Rent-A-Center has a 12-month low of $9.76 and a 12-month high of $26.26. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $12.58 and its 200-day moving average price is $13.15.

Rent-A-Center (NASDAQ:RCII) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 27th. The company reported $0.41 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.49 by $0.08. The business had revenue of $749.60 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $782.12 million. Rent-A-Center had a negative net margin of 27.93% and a positive return on equity of 14.03%. The business’s revenue was down 8.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.50 EPS. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Rent-A-Center will post $1.73 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, October 20th. Investors of record on Monday, October 3rd will be issued a dividend of $0.08 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 29th. This represents a $0.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.48%. Rent-A-Center’s dividend payout ratio is -1.93%.

In other news, CEO Robert Dale Davis acquired 10,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 1st. The shares were bought at an average cost of $10.87 per share, with a total value of $108,700.00. Following the acquisition, the chief executive officer now owns 131,850 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,433,209.50. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 3.40% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. bought a new position in shares of Rent-A-Center during the first quarter worth approximately $338,000. Prudential Financial Inc. boosted its position in shares of Rent-A-Center by 174.8% in the first quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 212,937 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,375,000 after buying an additional 135,446 shares during the period. BlackRock Group LTD boosted its position in shares of Rent-A-Center by 13.0% in the first quarter. BlackRock Group LTD now owns 81,983 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,301,000 after buying an additional 9,402 shares during the period. BlackRock Fund Advisors boosted its position in shares of Rent-A-Center by 32.7% in the first quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 3,318,496 shares of the company’s stock worth $52,598,000 after buying an additional 817,206 shares during the period. Finally, Royce & Associates LP boosted its position in shares of Rent-A-Center by 16.5% in the first quarter. Royce & Associates LP now owns 939,879 shares of the company’s stock worth $14,897,000 after buying an additional 133,000 shares during the period. 98.58% of the stock is currently owned by 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.

5 Day Chart for NASDAQ:RCII

Receive News & Stock Ratings for Rent-A-Center Inc. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Rent-A-Center Inc. and related stocks with our FREE daily email newsletter.