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EZCorp Inc. Stock Downgraded (EZPW)

Tickers in this article: EZPW

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model .

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- EZCorp (EZPW"> EZPW) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from buy to hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and attractive valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • EZPW's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 4.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 11.4%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • EZPW's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.26 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. To add to this, EZPW has a quick ratio of 2.43, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • The gross profit margin for EZCORP INC is rather high; currently it is at 68.40%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 11.08% trails the industry average.
  • Looking at the price performance of EZPW's shares over the past 12 months, there is not much good news to report: the stock is down 41.50%, and it has underformed the S&P 500 Index. In addition, the company's earnings per share are lower today than the year-earlier quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed against the S&P 500 and did not exceed that of the Consumer Finance industry. The net income has decreased by 21.9% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $39.35 million to $30.72 million.
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EZCORP, Inc. provides specialty consumer financial services. The company has a P/E ratio of 6.9, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. EZCorp has a market cap of $923.6 million and is part of the services sector and specialty retail industry. Shares are down 9.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.