Encore Capital Group Inc (ECPG) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Hold”

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Encore Capital Group Inc (NASDAQ:ECPG) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Thursday, June 8th.

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. “

Several other equities research analysts also recently commented on ECPG. Janney Montgomery Scott downgraded Encore Capital Group from a buy rating to a neutral rating and cut their price objective for the company from $36.00 to $32.00 in a report on Friday, February 24th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods began coverage on Encore Capital Group in a report on Wednesday, May 24th. They issued an outperform rating and a $45.00 price objective for the company. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $32.50.

Shares of Encore Capital Group (ECPG) traded down 1.15% during trading on Thursday, reaching $38.70. 85,206 shares of the company traded hands. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $36.80 and a 200-day moving average price of $32.18. The firm has a market capitalization of $996.02 million, a PE ratio of 13.79 and a beta of 1.88. Encore Capital Group has a 12 month low of $17.66 and a 12 month high of $39.30.

Encore Capital Group (NASDAQ:ECPG) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, May 4th. The asset manager reported $0.95 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.93 by $0.02. Encore Capital Group had a return on equity of 13.72% and a net margin of 7.21%. The business had revenue of $271.94 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $280.93 million. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.31 EPS. Encore Capital Group’s quarterly revenue was down 5.9% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts anticipate that Encore Capital Group will post $3.74 EPS for the current year.

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A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ECPG. Mason Street Advisors LLC raised its stake in shares of Encore Capital Group by 7.3% in the first quarter. Mason Street Advisors LLC now owns 5,507 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $170,000 after buying an additional 374 shares during the last quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. bought a new position in shares of Encore Capital Group during the first quarter worth about $212,000. Advisory Research Inc. bought a new position in shares of Encore Capital Group during the fourth quarter worth about $226,000. Russell Investments Group Ltd. bought a new position in shares of Encore Capital Group during the first quarter worth about $232,000. Finally, Highbridge Capital Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Encore Capital Group during the first quarter worth about $260,000.

Encore Capital Group Company Profile

Encore Capital Group, Inc, through its subsidiaries, is a specialty finance company providing debt recovery solutions for consumers and property owners across a range of financial assets. The Company operates through Portfolio Purchasing and Recovery segment. The Company’s geographical segments include the United States, Europe and other.

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