Equities researchers at Jefferies Group initiated coverage on shares of Rent-A-Center Inc. (NASDAQ:RCII) in a research note issued to investors on Thursday. The firm set a “hold” rating on the stock.

Separately, Zacks Investment Research downgraded Rent-A-Center from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, June 29th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, three have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $22.72.

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

Shares of Rent-A-Center (NASDAQ:RCII) opened at 9.55 on Thursday. The company’s market cap is $507.26 million. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $12.38 and its 200 day moving average price is $13.00. Rent-A-Center has a 12-month low of $8.00 and a 12-month high of $26.26.

Rent-A-Center (NASDAQ:RCII) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, July 27th. The company reported $0.41 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.49 by $0.08. The company had revenue of $749.60 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $782.12 million. Rent-A-Center had a positive return on equity of 14.03% and a negative net margin of 27.93%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 8.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.50 earnings per share. Equities analysts predict that Rent-A-Center will post $1.73 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, October 20th. Stockholders of record on Monday, October 3rd will be paid a $0.08 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 29th. This represents a $0.32 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.35%. Rent-A-Center’s dividend payout ratio is presently -1.93%.

In other news, CEO Robert Dale Davis bought 10,000 shares of Rent-A-Center stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 1st. The stock was bought at an average cost of $10.87 per share, for a total transaction of $108,700.00. Following the purchase, the chief executive officer now directly owns 131,850 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,433,209.50. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. 3.40% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Thompson Siegel & Walmsley LLC increased its stake in shares of Rent-A-Center by 77.9% in the second quarter. Thompson Siegel & Walmsley LLC now owns 1,218,472 shares of the company’s stock valued at $14,963,000 after buying an additional 533,388 shares in the last quarter. Teachers Retirement System of The State of Kentucky increased its stake in shares of Rent-A-Center by 22.1% in the second quarter. Teachers Retirement System of The State of Kentucky now owns 14,300 shares of the company’s stock valued at $176,000 after buying an additional 2,588 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors increased its stake 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 valued at $52,598,000 after buying an additional 817,206 shares in the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC increased its stake in shares of Rent-A-Center by 87.5% in the first quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 808,210 shares of the company’s stock valued at $12,810,000 after buying an additional 377,200 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Hancock Holding Co. purchased a new stake in shares of Rent-A-Center during the first quarter valued at approximately $761,000. Institutional investors own 9.58% of the company’s stock.

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.

5 Day Chart for NASDAQ:RCII

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