Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of World Acceptance (NASDAQ:WRLD) from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating in a research note published on Friday, Zacks.com reports. They currently have $156.00 target price on the credit services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “World Acceptance Corporation is engaged in the small-loan consumer finance business, offering short-term small loans, medium-term larger loans, related credit insurance and ancillary products and services to individuals. “

A number of other research firms also recently commented on WRLD. BidaskClub raised shares of World Acceptance from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, April 30th. ValuEngine downgraded shares of World Acceptance from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, May 1st. Finally, BMO Capital Markets decreased their price objective on shares of World Acceptance to $66.00 and set an underperform rating on the stock in a report on Friday, February 1st. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating, one has issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $111.00.

WRLD stock opened at $136.56 on Friday. The stock has a market cap of $1.31 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.01 and a beta of 2.53. World Acceptance has a 52 week low of $89.78 and a 52 week high of $146.62. The company has a current ratio of 15.02, a quick ratio of 18.52 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.46.

World Acceptance (NASDAQ:WRLD) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, May 9th. The credit services provider reported $4.22 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $3.56 by $0.66. The firm had revenue of $157.00 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $146.60 million. World Acceptance had a net margin of 6.84% and a return on equity of 13.39%. The firm’s revenue was up 11.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $3.70 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts predict that World Acceptance will post 8.14 earnings per share for the current year.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in World Acceptance by 6.1% during the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 967,506 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $98,938,000 after acquiring an additional 55,747 shares during the last quarter. Nantahala Capital Management LLC raised its holdings in World Acceptance by 2.0% in the fourth quarter. Nantahala Capital Management LLC now owns 741,945 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $75,871,000 after acquiring an additional 14,533 shares in the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC raised its holdings in World Acceptance by 11.9% in the first quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 249,600 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $29,236,000 after acquiring an additional 26,600 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its holdings in World Acceptance by 4.8% in the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 165,910 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $18,973,000 after acquiring an additional 7,531 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Northern Trust Corp raised its holdings in World Acceptance by 0.7% in the fourth quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 155,940 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $15,946,000 after acquiring an additional 1,041 shares in the last quarter. 90.41% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

World Acceptance Company Profile

World Acceptance Corporation engages in small-loan consumer finance business. The company offers short-term small and medium-term larger installment loans, as well as related credit insurance and ancillary products and services to individuals. It also provides automobile club memberships to its borrowers; and income tax return preparation and electronic filing services.

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