Rent-A-Center Q1 Falls Short

Rent-A-Center was hit by costs associated with a strategic repositioning and weather effects during its first quarter.

For the first quarter ended March 31, Rent-A-Center posted a net loss of $19.8 million, or 37 cents per diluted share, versus a net loss of $6.7 million, or 13 cents per diluted share, in the year-prior period.

Adjusted net loss, excluding one-time impacts, was $4.1 million, or eight cents per share, versus net earnings of $2.1 million, or four cents per share, in the year-earlier period. Adjusted earnings per share missed a MarketBeat-published analyst average estimate, which called for an eight cents per diluted share gain.

Comparable revenues increased 0.8% in the quarter year over year based on a core U.S. increase of 0.3%, an Acceptance Now division increase of 3.3% and a Mexico division increase of 0.7%.

Net revenues were $698 million versus $742 million in the year-previous period. Total store revenue was $691.1 million versus $736.5 million in the period a year before. The closure of retail locations, including kiosks operated by its Acceptance Now division in Conn’s and hhGregg stores, lowered revenues.

“During the first quarter, strong portfolio performance helped Rent-A-Center achieve positive same-store sales across all operating segments,” said Mitch Fadel, Rent-A-Center CEO. “In addition, we began the execution of our strategic plan, both of which resulted in delivering free cash flow of approximately $85 million putting the company on a positive trajectory going forward, We announced a plan to capture at least $100 million in annualized EBITDA and working capital opportunities last quarter and have been busy implementing that plan. These actions were necessary to improve the performance of the business. I am pleased to say that we are currently exceeding expectations on these critical initiatives, and I am further encouraged by our operational performance.”