Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Rent-A-Center (NASDAQ:RCII) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Friday 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.”

RCII has been the topic of a number of other research reports. Raymond James Financial restated a market perform rating on shares of Rent-A-Center in a research report on Wednesday, October 25th. BidaskClub cut Rent-A-Center from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Friday, December 15th. Stifel Nicolaus reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $10.50 price objective on shares of Rent-A-Center in a research note on Wednesday, November 1st. Loop Capital set a $8.00 price objective on Rent-A-Center and gave the company a sell rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 31st. Finally, Jefferies Group reduced their price objective 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. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $11.21.

Shares of Rent-A-Center (NASDAQ RCII) opened at $11.40 on Friday. Rent-A-Center has a 12-month low of $7.76 and a 12-month 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. The firm has a market capitalization of $607.76, a PE ratio of -3.45 and a beta of 0.69.

Rent-A-Center (NASDAQ:RCII) last released its quarterly earnings results on Monday, October 30th. The company reported ($0.15) earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.08) by ($0.07). Rent-A-Center had a negative net margin of 6.35% and a negative return on equity of 0.66%. The firm had revenue of $643.97 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $649.09 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.11 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 7.2% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts forecast that Rent-A-Center will post -0.2 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. bought a new position in shares of Rent-A-Center during the second quarter valued at about $120,000. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC bought a new position in shares of Rent-A-Center during the second quarter valued at about $132,000. Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. bought a new position in shares of Rent-A-Center during the third quarter valued at about $132,000. Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of Rent-A-Center during the second quarter valued at about $136,000. Finally, Tower Research Capital LLC TRC grew its stake in shares of Rent-A-Center by 174.0% during the second quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 15,842 shares of the company’s stock valued at $185,000 after buying an additional 10,061 shares during the last quarter.

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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.

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