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Earnings Estimates Moving Higher for Rent-A-Center (RCII): Time to Buy?

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Rent-A-Center (RCII - Free Report) could be a solid addition to your portfolio given a notable revision in the company's earnings estimates. While the stock has been gaining lately, the trend might continue since its earnings outlook is still improving.

The rising trend in estimate revisions, which is a result of growing analyst optimism on the earnings prospects of this company that leases furniture and appliances with an option to buy, should get reflected in its stock price. After all, empirical research shows a strong correlation between trends in earnings estimate revisions and near-term stock price movements. Our stock rating tool -- the Zacks Rank -- has this insight at its core.

The five-grade Zacks Rank system, which ranges from a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) to a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell), has an impressive externally-audited track record of outperformance, with Zacks #1 Ranked stocks generating an average annual return of +25% since 2008.

Consensus earnings estimates for the next quarter and full year have moved considerably higher for Rent-A-Center, as there has been strong agreement among the covering analysts in raising estimates.

The chart below shows the evolution of forward 12-month Zacks Consensus EPS estimate:

12 Month EPS

Current-Quarter Estimate Revisions

The company is expected to earn $1.01 per share for the current quarter, which represents a year-over-year change of +114.89%.

Over the last 30 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for Rent-A-Center has increased 29.55% because four estimates have moved higher compared to no negative revisions.

Current-Year Estimate Revisions

The company is expected to earn $3.23 per share for the full year, which represents a change of +44.2% from the prior-year number.

There has been an encouraging trend in estimate revisions for the current year as well. Over the past month, four estimates have moved up for Rent-A-Center versus no negative revisions. This has pushed the consensus estimate 21.25% higher.

Favorable Zacks Rank

Thanks to promising estimate revisions, Rent-A-Center currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). The Zacks Rank is a tried-and-tested rating tool that helps investors effectively harness the power of earnings estimate revisions and make the right investment decision. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Our research shows that stocks with Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and 2 (Buy) significantly outperform the S&P 500.

Bottom Line

While strong estimate revisions for Rent-A-Center have attracted decent investments and pushed the stock 11.5% higher over the past four weeks, further upside may still be left in the stock. So, you may consider adding it to your portfolio right away.


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