Encore Capital Group (ECPG) Cut to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Encore Capital Group (NASDAQ:ECPG) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report issued on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Encore Capital Group is a leading provider of debt management and recovery solutions for consumers and property owners across a broad range of assets. Through its subsidiaries, the company purchases portfolios of consumer receivables from major banks, credit unions, and utility providers, and partners with individuals as they repay their obligations and work toward financial recovery. Through its Propel Financial Services subsidiary, the company assists property owners who are delinquent on their property taxes by structuring affordable monthly payment plans. Encore’s success and future growth are driven by its sophisticated and widespread use of analytics, its broad investments in data and behavioral science, the significant cost advantages provided by its highly-efficient operating model and proven investment strategy, and the company’s demonstrated commitment to conducting business ethically and in ways that support its consumers’ financial recovery. “

ECPG has been the subject of several other reports. William Blair reaffirmed an outperform rating on shares of Encore Capital Group in a research note on Thursday, August 9th. BidaskClub raised Encore Capital Group from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 11th. ValuEngine raised Encore Capital Group from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 4th. Oppenheimer reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of Encore Capital Group in a research note on Monday, July 16th. Finally, UBS Group downgraded Encore Capital Group from an outperform rating to a market perform rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 2nd. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $47.33.

NASDAQ:ECPG traded up $1.13 during trading hours on Thursday, reaching $25.27. The company had a trading volume of 774,643 shares, compared to its average volume of 302,239. Encore Capital Group has a 1-year low of $23.59 and a 1-year high of $49.80. The company has a market capitalization of $834.78 million, a PE ratio of 6.30, a PEG ratio of 0.43 and a beta of 1.80. The company has a current ratio of 0.63, a quick ratio of 0.63 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 5.74.

Encore Capital Group (NASDAQ:ECPG) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 7th. The asset manager reported $1.19 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.19. Encore Capital Group had a return on equity of 20.28% and a net margin of 6.84%. The company had revenue of $336.77 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $342.33 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $1.14 earnings per share. Encore Capital Group’s revenue for the quarter was up 9.8% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts predict that Encore Capital Group will post 4.8 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in ECPG. Bank of Montreal Can raised its stake in shares of Encore Capital Group by 42,962.2% during the 3rd quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 400,909 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $14,372,000 after buying an additional 399,978 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in shares of Encore Capital Group by 11.4% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,472,434 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $127,092,000 after buying an additional 354,784 shares during the period. Pembroke Management LTD raised its stake in shares of Encore Capital Group by 85.3% during the 3rd quarter. Pembroke Management LTD now owns 417,393 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $14,964,000 after buying an additional 192,200 shares during the period. Millennium Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Encore Capital Group by 28.6% during the 2nd quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 697,362 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $25,523,000 after buying an additional 155,105 shares during the period. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its stake in shares of Encore Capital Group by 9.8% during the 2nd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,454,193 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $53,224,000 after buying an additional 129,942 shares during the period.

About Encore Capital Group

Encore Capital Group, Inc, a specialty finance company, together with its subsidiaries, provides debt recovery solutions and other related services for consumers across a range of financial assets worldwide. The company purchases portfolios of defaulted consumer receivables at deep discounts to face value, as well as manages them by working with individuals as they repay their obligations and works toward financial recovery.

See Also: Fundamental Analysis

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