Rent-A-Center Inc (NASDAQ:RCII) saw a large growth in short interest during the month of July. As of July 15th, there was short interest totalling 4,816,200 shares, a growth of 15.8% from the June 15th total of 4,160,000 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 1,090,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 4.4 days. Approximately 9.1% of the shares of the company are short sold.

A number of equities analysts have recently commented on the stock. Stephens set a $120.00 price objective on shares of Electronic Arts and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, June 24th. Raymond James reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of West Fraser Timber in a report on Monday, April 22nd. BidaskClub raised shares of Zillow Group from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, July 2nd. TheStreet raised shares of Rent-A-Center from a “c” rating to a “b-” rating in a report on Tuesday, May 7th. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded shares of WideOpenWest from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, June 28th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating, two have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $21.80.

In other Rent-A-Center news, EVP Catherine M. Skula sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, June 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $24.45, for a total value of $122,250.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 32,090 shares in the company, valued at approximately $784,600.50. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Company insiders own 0.81% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Meeder Asset Management Inc. lifted its holdings in Rent-A-Center by 117.2% during the 1st quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. now owns 1,303 shares of the company’s stock valued at $27,000 after purchasing an additional 703 shares during the last quarter. First Quadrant L P CA bought a new position in Rent-A-Center during the 1st quarter valued at about $91,000. Advisors Preferred LLC bought a new position in Rent-A-Center during the 1st quarter valued at about $113,000. Anderson Fisher LLC bought a new position in Rent-A-Center during the 1st quarter valued at about $123,000. Finally, Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank lifted its holdings in Rent-A-Center by 334.6% during the 1st quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 7,188 shares of the company’s stock valued at $150,000 after purchasing an additional 5,534 shares during the last quarter. 95.14% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of NASDAQ:RCII traded down $0.11 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $26.52. 425,604 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 897,019. The business has a 50 day moving average price of $26.18. The stock has a market cap of $1.43 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.02 and a beta of 0.48. Rent-A-Center has a 12 month low of $11.98 and a 12 month high of $28.25. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.80, a current ratio of 2.55 and a quick ratio of 0.82.

Rent-A-Center (NASDAQ:RCII) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Monday, May 6th. The company reported $0.59 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.30 by $0.29. Rent-A-Center had a net margin of 1.34% and a return on equity of 33.38%. The firm had revenue of $696.69 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $683.62 million. During the same period last year, the firm posted ($0.08) EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down .2% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities research analysts expect that Rent-A-Center will post 2.12 EPS for the current year.

About Rent-A-Center

Rent-A-Center, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, leases household durable goods to customers on a rent-to-own basis. The company operates through four segments: Core U.S., Acceptance Now, Mexico, and Franchising. It offers durable products, such as consumer electronics; appliances; computers, including tablets; smartphones; wheels and tires; and furniture, including accessories under rental purchase agreements.

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