Encore Capital Group (ECPG) Lowered to “Sell” at Zacks Investment Research

Encore Capital Group (NASDAQ:ECPG) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Encore Capital Group is a leading provider of debt management and recovery solutions for consumers and property owners across a broad range of assets. Through its subsidiaries, the company purchases portfolios of consumer receivables from major banks, credit unions, and utility providers, and partners with individuals as they repay their obligations and work toward financial recovery. Through its Propel Financial Services subsidiary, the company assists property owners who are delinquent on their property taxes by structuring affordable monthly payment plans. Encore’s success and future growth are driven by its sophisticated and widespread use of analytics, its broad investments in data and behavioral science, the significant cost advantages provided by its highly-efficient operating model and proven investment strategy, and the company’s demonstrated commitment to conducting business ethically and in ways that support its consumers’ financial recovery. “

A number of other brokerages have also issued reports on ECPG. ValuEngine lowered shares of Encore Capital Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 28th. William Blair reiterated an “outperform” rating on shares of Encore Capital Group in a research note on Thursday, August 9th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Encore Capital Group from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 11th. UBS Group lowered shares of Encore Capital Group from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 2nd. Finally, Oppenheimer reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Encore Capital Group in a research note on Monday, July 16th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $49.75.

NASDAQ:ECPG traded up $0.34 on Tuesday, reaching $30.38. 215,450 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 286,151. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 5.74, a current ratio of 0.63 and a quick ratio of 0.63. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.11 billion, a PE ratio of 7.58, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.57 and a beta of 1.55. Encore Capital Group has a 52-week low of $29.87 and a 52-week high of $52.00.

Encore Capital Group (NASDAQ:ECPG) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 8th. The asset manager reported $1.33 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.12 by $0.21. The company had revenue of $349.75 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $335.05 million. Encore Capital Group had a net margin of 6.84% and a return on equity of 20.28%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 20.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.87 earnings per share. Analysts expect that Encore Capital Group will post 4.81 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Profund Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Encore Capital Group during the first quarter worth approximately $212,000. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB purchased a new stake in shares of Encore Capital Group during the first quarter worth approximately $228,000. Hsbc Holdings PLC purchased a new stake in shares of Encore Capital Group during the first quarter worth approximately $395,000. Stevens Capital Management LP purchased a new stake in shares of Encore Capital Group during the second quarter worth approximately $334,000. Finally, Dynamic Technology Lab Private Ltd purchased a new stake in shares of Encore Capital Group during the second quarter worth approximately $343,000.

About Encore Capital Group

Encore Capital Group, Inc, a specialty finance company, together with its subsidiaries, provides debt recovery solutions and other related services for consumers across a range of financial assets worldwide. The company purchases portfolios of defaulted consumer receivables at deep discounts to face value, as well as manages them by working with individuals as they repay their obligations and works toward financial recovery.

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