Rent-A-Center Inc. (RCII) Sees Significant Growth in Short Interest

Rent-A-Center Inc. (NASDAQ:RCII) was the target of a significant increase in short interest in the month of January. As of January 31st, there was short interest totalling 14,422,874 shares, an increase of 25.1% from the January 13th total of 11,529,426 shares. Approximately 27.9% of the company’s shares are short sold. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 3,270,094 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 4.4 days.

RCII has been the subject of several analyst reports. Sidoti lowered shares of Rent-A-Center from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Tuesday, November 15th. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $9.00 price objective (down from $11.00) on shares of Rent-A-Center in a research note on Thursday, January 19th. Raymond James Financial, Inc. reaffirmed a “market perform” rating on shares of Rent-A-Center in a research note on Tuesday, December 6th. Stephens started coverage on shares of Rent-A-Center in a research note on Thursday, January 12th. They set an “equal weight” rating for the company. Finally, Loop Capital started coverage on shares of Rent-A-Center in a research note on Tuesday, December 13th. They set a “hold” rating and a $11.00 price objective for the company. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $17.00.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. BlackRock Fund Advisors increased its stake in shares of Rent-A-Center by 8.5% in the third quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 3,711,500 shares of the company’s stock worth $46,913,000 after buying an additional 291,330 shares in the last quarter. Frontier Capital Management Co. LLC boosted its position in shares of Rent-A-Center by 682.2% in the fourth quarter. Frontier Capital Management Co. LLC now owns 2,956,302 shares of the company’s stock worth $33,258,000 after buying an additional 2,578,360 shares during the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted its position in shares of Rent-A-Center by 636.5% in the third quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 1,929,963 shares of the company’s stock worth $24,394,000 after buying an additional 1,667,921 shares during the last quarter. Pzena Investment Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Rent-A-Center by 2.7% in the third quarter. Pzena Investment Management LLC now owns 1,825,479 shares of the company’s stock worth $23,074,000 after buying an additional 48,071 shares during the last quarter. Finally, State Street Corp boosted its position in shares of Rent-A-Center by 8.8% in the fourth quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,593,327 shares of the company’s stock worth $17,927,000 after buying an additional 128,770 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 96.74% of the company’s stock.

Rent-A-Center (NASDAQ:RCII) opened at 8.47 on Friday. The company has a 50-day moving average of $9.72 and a 200-day moving average of $11.23. Rent-A-Center has a 1-year low of $7.76 and a 1-year high of $16.37. The company’s market capitalization is $450.17 million.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, January 26th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, January 5th were issued a $0.08 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, January 3rd. This represents a $0.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.78%. Rent-A-Center’s dividend payout ratio is currently -1.95%.

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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.

5 Day Chart for NASDAQ:RCII

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