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January 28, 2014
11:42 EDTAAN, RCII, CONNRent-A-Center plunges after 'most challenging December in years' dings profit
Rent-to-own operator Rent-A-Center (RCII) is one of today's losers after the company's fourth quarter results and fiscal 2014 profit guidance fell significantly below expectations. WHAT'S NEW: Last night, Rent-A-Center reported fourth quarter earnings per share of 25c and revenue of $769.6M, compared to analysts' consensus estimates of 75c and $787.95M, respectively. Same-store sales declined 1.1% for the company in the quarter. The company forecast FY14 EPS of $2.30-$2.50, compared to consensus of $3.20, and revenue growth of 4.5%-7.5%. The company expects same-store sales to be up 3%-5.5% this fiscal year. The company said the large profit miss was mainly attributable to a reduction in gross profit in the Core U.S. segment and an overall increase in operating expenses. “We continue to face meaningful headwinds in our domestic U.S. rent-to-own business, including a customer under severe economic pressure and an intensified promotional environment. These conditions significantly impacted our Core U.S. segment customer agreement growth in December, which was the most challenging in years," said Rent-A-Center CEO Mark Speese. ANALYST REACTION: In a note to investors this morning, research firm Canaccord Genuity maintained a Hold rating on the shares with a $31 price target. The firm said they would remain on the sidelines as the company's core rent-to-own business was struggling and there was no clear catalyst in place to revive it. Canaccord added that the company's 2014 guidance suggests its collections costs are "sky-rocketing." PRICE ACTION: In late morning trading, Rent-A-Center shares tumbled over 19% to $25.12 on nearly seven times its average daily trading volume. Earlier in the session, the stock hit a fresh 52-week low of $24.75. Over the past twelve months, the stock has lost approximately 28%. OTHERS TO WATCH: Rent-A-Center's competitors include Aaron's (AAN) and CONN's (CONN). Shares of Aaron's were up 1% in morning trading, while CONN's slipped 0.5%.
News For RCII;AAN;CONN From The Last 14 Days
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September 30, 2015
12:27 EDTAANAaron's hosts national hiring event to hire 700 associates
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September 23, 2015
07:04 EDTAANAaron's initiatives positive, says Cantor
Cantor believes that Aaron's latest initiatives will boost its Progressive business which the firm views as the company's primary growth engine. The firm thinks the company's stock price does not reflect its longer term growth outlook. Cantor keeps a $47 price target and Buy rating on the shares.

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