Short Interest in Rent-A-Center Inc (RCII) Grows By 21.4%

Rent-A-Center Inc (NASDAQ:RCII) was the recipient of a large increase in short interest in the month of March. As of March 31st, there was short interest totalling 23,823,168 shares, an increase of 21.4% from the March 15th total of 19,616,306 shares. Currently, 46.2% of the shares of the company are short sold. Based on an average daily volume of 1,758,157 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 13.6 days.

In other Rent-A-Center news, major shareholder Engaged Capital Llc bought 1,695,233 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, March 23rd. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $8.65 per share, with a total value of $14,663,765.45. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, EVP Mark E. Denman acquired 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, February 27th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $8.70 per share, with a total value of $43,500.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the executive vice president now directly owns 21,162 shares in the company, valued at $184,109.40. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have acquired 1,800,233 shares of company stock valued at $15,877,265. 3.40% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. WFG Advisors LP increased its position in Rent-A-Center by 53,850.0% in the fourth quarter. WFG Advisors LP now owns 7,553 shares of the company’s stock worth $290,000 after buying an additional 7,539 shares during the period. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan increased its position in Rent-A-Center by 1.7% in the third quarter. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan now owns 11,770 shares of the company’s stock worth $149,000 after buying an additional 200 shares during the period. Mason Street Advisors LLC increased its position in Rent-A-Center by 7.1% in the first quarter. Mason Street Advisors LLC now owns 12,439 shares of the company’s stock worth $110,000 after buying an additional 825 shares during the period. Dynamic Technology Lab Private Ltd acquired a new position in Rent-A-Center during the first quarter worth $130,000. Finally, Acrospire Investment Management LLC increased its position in Rent-A-Center by 9.5% in the third quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC now owns 16,100 shares of the company’s stock worth $204,000 after buying an additional 1,400 shares during the period. 96.78% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

RCII has been the subject of several research analyst reports. Northcoast Research raised Rent-A-Center from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, March 31st. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $9.00 price objective (down from $11.00) on shares of Rent-A-Center in a research note on Thursday, January 19th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Rent-A-Center from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, March 21st. Janney Montgomery Scott started coverage on Rent-A-Center in a report on Thursday, April 6th. They set a “buy” rating and a $12.00 target price on the stock. Finally, Stephens set a $9.00 target price on Rent-A-Center and gave the company a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, April 6th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating, three have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $13.07.

Rent-A-Center (NASDAQ:RCII) traded up 0.138% during midday trading on Friday, hitting $10.905. The stock had a trading volume of 441,250 shares. Rent-A-Center has a one year low of $7.76 and a one year high of $13.73. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $10.74 and a 200 day moving average price of $10.25. The stock’s market cap is $580.10 million.

Rent-A-Center (NASDAQ:RCII) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Monday, May 1st. The company reported $0.04 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.02) by $0.06. Rent-A-Center had a negative net margin of 28.44% and a positive return on equity of 16.57%. The business had revenue of $742 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $733.43 million. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.48 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 11.2% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts expect that Rent-A-Center will post $0.36 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, April 20th. Investors of record on Monday, April 3rd were given a $0.08 dividend. This represents a $0.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.94%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, March 30th. Rent-A-Center’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently -1.95%.

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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

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