Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Rent-A-Center Inc. (NASDAQ:RCII) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report published on Monday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $13.00 target price on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Rent-A-Center have outpaced the industry in the past six months. 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 AcceptanceNOW 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. We believe that these efforts will help improve top and bottom line performance. In the second quarter of 2017, this rent-to-own operator posted a loss of 1 cent a share that missed the consensus mark and also fell substantially from the year-ago period. Total revenue also slid year over year but managed to beat the respective estimate, after missing the same in the trailing seven quarters. Comps also fell but improved sequentially. Notably, estimates have also improved lately.”

Several other research firms have also issued reports on RCII. Loop Capital reissued a sell rating and set a $8.00 target price on shares of Rent-A-Center in a research note on Tuesday, July 18th. BidaskClub lowered Rent-A-Center from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, August 17th. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a hold rating and set a $12.00 target price on shares of Rent-A-Center in a research note on Thursday, September 7th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus reissued a hold rating and set a $13.00 target price (up previously from $11.50) on shares of Rent-A-Center in a research note on Friday, July 28th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating, four have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $11.71.

Rent-A-Center (RCII) opened at 11.45 on Monday. Rent-A-Center has a 52 week low of $7.76 and a 52 week high of $13.89. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $11.95 and its 200 day moving average price is $11.61. The stock’s market cap is $610.30 million.

Rent-A-Center (NASDAQ:RCII) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, July 26th. The company reported ($0.01) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.07 by ($0.08). Rent-A-Center had a positive return on equity of 3.87% and a negative net margin of 5.57%. The firm had revenue of $667.64 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $667.04 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.41 EPS. Rent-A-Center’s revenue was down 10.9% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts forecast that Rent-A-Center will post $0.07 earnings per share for the current year.

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Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. purchased a new stake in Rent-A-Center during the 2nd quarter worth about $120,000. State of Alaska Department of Revenue increased its holdings in Rent-A-Center by 77.1% during the 2nd quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 10,448 shares of the company’s stock worth $122,000 after purchasing an additional 4,548 shares during the period. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC purchased a new stake in Rent-A-Center during the 2nd quarter worth about $132,000. Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in Rent-A-Center during the 2nd quarter worth about $136,000. Finally, Mason Street Advisors LLC increased its holdings in Rent-A-Center by 7.1% during the 1st quarter. Mason Street Advisors LLC now owns 12,439 shares of the company’s stock worth $110,000 after purchasing an additional 825 shares during the period.

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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Analyst Recommendations for Rent-A-Center (NASDAQ:RCII)

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