Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Rent-A-Center Inc. (NASDAQ:RCII) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday morning.

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.”

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently commented on the company. Jefferies Group LLC cut their target price 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 note on Tuesday, October 31st. Stifel Nicolaus reissued a hold rating and issued a $10.50 target price on shares of Rent-A-Center in a research note on Wednesday, November 1st. Raymond James Financial, Inc. reissued a market perform rating on shares of Rent-A-Center in a research note on Wednesday, October 25th. Finally, BidaskClub cut Rent-A-Center from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, August 17th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and three have given 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 down $0.28 during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $11.55. The stock had a trading volume of 1,720,000 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,100,000. Rent-A-Center has a 52-week low of $7.76 and a 52-week high of $13.89. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.69, a quick ratio of 0.46 and a current ratio of 2.55.

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

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Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Westfield Capital Management Co. LP purchased a new stake in shares of Rent-A-Center during the second quarter valued at $326,000. Principal Financial Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of Rent-A-Center by 3.7% during the first quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 404,339 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,586,000 after buying an additional 14,559 shares during the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted its position in shares of Rent-A-Center by 1,124.8% during the second quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 1,229,142 shares of the company’s stock valued at $14,405,000 after buying an additional 1,128,785 shares during the last quarter. Pinebridge Investments L.P. boosted its position in shares of Rent-A-Center by 13.2% during the second quarter. Pinebridge Investments L.P. now owns 81,797 shares of the company’s stock valued at $959,000 after buying an additional 9,569 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of Rent-A-Center by 39.9% during 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 last quarter.

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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