Aaron’s Beats Q1 Earnings Estimate

For the three months ended March 31, Aaron’s, Inc. posted net earnings of $49.2 million compared with $38.3 million in the prior-year period and diluted earnings per share of 68 cents versus 53 cents in the 2014 frame. Adjusted earnings per share were 73 cents versus 53 cents in the year-prior quarter, the company reported.

An analyst average estimate from Zacks Investment Research called for adjusted earnings of 54 cents.

Revenues increased 40.4% to $821.8 million versus the first quarter last year.

Aaron’s Sales & Lease Ownership revenues slipped 2.3%, in the first quarter to $552.5 million year over year. In the rent-to-own renovations-oriented HomeSmart division, revenues were $16.8 million in the first quarter of 2015, a 2.9% decrease from $17.3 million in the first quarter of 2014.

Aaron’s recently acquired virtual lease-to-own operation Progressive posted revenues of $251.6 million. Aaron’s did not include Progressive results of operations in its financial statements in the first quarter of 2014, the company noted.

“We’re encouraged by the contributions of the core business and Progressive,” said John Robinson, Aaron’s CEO. “The core business performed as expected. Inventory and pricing initiatives are gaining traction, and significant benefits are being realized from the cost reductions previously outlined. Progressive continues to deliver solid profitability on growing revenues.”