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Why Rent-A-Center (RCII) Stock Tumbled after Q1 Earnings

Shares of Rent-A-Center, Inc. RCII tumbled roughly 4.2% during after-market trading hours yesterday, following the announcement of the company’s first-quarter 2016 results. The rent-to-own operator registered a year-over-year decline in earnings per share, but continued with its positive earnings surprise streak for the fifth straight quarter. On the other hand, total revenue also declined year over year and came in below our estimate for the third consecutive quarter.

Rent-A-Center, which carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), delivered quarterly earnings of 48 cents a share that beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 40 cents but fell 7.7% year over year. On a GAAP basis, the company reported earnings of 47 cents per share compared with 51 cents delivered in the year-ago quarter.


Total revenue declined 4.8% to $835.7 million in the reported quarter. The decrease in the top line is attributable to a decline witnessed across the Core U.S. and Mexico segments, partly offset by higher revenue from the Acceptance Now and Franchising segments. Revenues also fell well short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $851.1 million.

Comparable-store sales (comps) for the quarter dropped 2.5%, reflecting a year-over-year decline of 3.8% in the Core U.S. segment, partially offset by an increase of 9.7% in the Mexico segment. Comps remained flat at the Acceptance Now segment. However, we note that comps across the Acceptance Now and Mexico segments had increased 13.7% and 4.4%, respectively, in the fourth quarter of 2015, while comps at the Core U.S. segment dropped 2.2%. 

Comps across the Core U.S. segment declined due to softness in the oil industry affected markets and sluggishness across the computers and tablets categories.

Revenue from Acceptance Now grew 2.7% from the prior-year quarter figure to $230.4 million, whereas revenue from the Core U.S. segment dropped 7.1% to $584.4 million. The Mexico segment’s revenue came in at $13.7 million, down 23.3% year over year. Total franchise revenue increased 14.7% to $7.1 million during the quarter.           

Rent-A-Center’s adjusted operating profit decreased 10.7% to $50.9 million, while adjusted operating margin contracted 40 basis points to 6.1%. Adjusted EBITDA fell 7.9% to $70.7 million, whereas adjusted EBITDA margin shriveled 20 basis points to 8.5%.

Store Update

During the quarter, the company consolidated 6 Core U.S. locations with existing locations and closed 4 locations, bringing the total store count to 2,662. The company also opened 16 Acceptance Now Staffed stores and consolidated 25 stores with existing locations, and included 1 store converted from Acceptance Now Direct, thus taking the total count to 1,436 stores. There were 526 Acceptance Now Direct stores at the end of the quarter, after taking into account 5 Acceptance Now Direct stores opened, 1 converted store to Acceptance Now Staffed, 10 stores consolidated with existing locations and 532 locations at the beginning of the quarter.

In Mexico, the store count at the end of the quarter was 129 after consolidating 4 locations with existing locations and closing 10 stores. Rent-A-Center Franchising, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Rent-A-Center, ended the quarter with a total store count of 227.

Other Financial Aspects

Rent-A-Center, which shares space with McGrath Rentcorp MGRC, AeroCentury Corp. ACY and Aaron's, Inc. AAN, ended the quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $46.4 million, senior debt of $208 million, and shareholders’ equity of $495.7 million. Capital expenditures for the quarter were $14.4 million.

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RENT-A-CENTER (RCII): Free Stock Analysis Report
AARONS INC (AAN): Free Stock Analysis Report
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MCGRATH RENTCOR (MGRC): Free Stock Analysis Report
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