Rent-A-Center Inc (NASDAQ:RCII) saw a significant increase in short interest in the month of January. As of January 31st, there was short interest totalling 5,975,021 shares, an increase of 24.7% from the January 15th total of 4,790,429 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 1,563,997 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 3.8 days. Currently, 11.9% of the shares of the company are sold short.

Rent-A-Center stock traded down $0.22 during midday trading on Monday, reaching $17.18. 856,882 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,525,639. The company has a current ratio of 2.56, a quick ratio of 0.66 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.90. The firm has a market capitalization of $931.16 million, a PE ratio of -31.81 and a beta of 0.24. Rent-A-Center has a 52 week low of $7.22 and a 52 week high of $17.97.

Several research firms have recently issued reports on RCII. BidaskClub lowered shares of Rent-A-Center from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, February 4th. Janney Montgomery Scott lowered shares of Rent-A-Center from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $18.00 target price on the stock. in a report on Tuesday, February 5th. Raymond James upped their target price on shares of Rent-A-Center from $16.00 to $17.50 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 8th. ValuEngine lowered shares of Rent-A-Center from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, December 11th. Finally, Stephens lowered shares of Rent-A-Center from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating and set a $16.47 target price on the stock. in a report on Thursday, January 3rd. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $15.14.

In other news, EVP Catherine M. Skula sold 21,381 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $15.08, for a total value of $322,425.48. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 33,998 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $512,689.84. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, EVP Fred E. Herman sold 2,227 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, January 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $17.50, for a total transaction of $38,972.50. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 28,506 shares in the company, valued at approximately $498,855. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 33,208 shares of company stock worth $528,342. Insiders own 0.88% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Bank of America Corp DE grew its stake in Rent-A-Center by 249.1% in the 2nd quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 216,006 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,180,000 after buying an additional 154,135 shares in the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp grew its stake in Rent-A-Center by 4.5% in the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 593,701 shares of the company’s stock worth $8,739,000 after buying an additional 25,637 shares in the last quarter. Equitec Specialists LLC purchased a new position in Rent-A-Center in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $198,000. Wells Fargo & Company MN grew its stake in Rent-A-Center by 301.8% in the 3rd quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 251,494 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,616,000 after buying an additional 188,899 shares in the last quarter. Finally, GABELLI & Co INVESTMENT ADVISERS INC. grew its stake in Rent-A-Center by 664.2% in the 3rd quarter. GABELLI & Co INVESTMENT ADVISERS INC. now owns 179,640 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,583,000 after buying an additional 156,134 shares in the last quarter. 94.59% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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; and furniture, including accessories under rental purchase agreements.

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