Rent-A-Center earnings fall on continued weakness in U.S. stores: Company will close 150 locations

PLANO, Texas — Rent-A-Center said first-quarter revenues edged up 1.8%, but earnings tumbled 37% due to continued weakness in its core U.S. stores.  The company said revenues fell 5.6% in its U.S. segment, but were up 37% in its Acceptance Now segment, which places rent-to-own kiosks in traditional retail stores.  Same-store sales fell 6.1% in the U.S. store segment, but rose 26.1% in the Acceptance Now segment.  Total revenues for the quarter ended March 31rentacenter were $833.7 million, up from $819.3 million in last year’s first quarter.  Net income totaled $28.9 million or 54 cents per share. That was down from $46.1 million or 79 cents per share in the same quarter last year.  “We are generally pleased with our results in the quarter,” said Robert Davis, CEO. “We remain aware of continued challenges in the macro-economic environment but our focus remains on the execution of the strategy … to build shareholder value.”  He said customer demand was down in the U.S. store segment, but the average ticket was higher than the fourth quarter of 2013 due to a change in promotional strategy and other operational improvements…more

*You know it’s bad when RAC is closing stores*

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