A Glimpse into the Goods Rental Sector After Earnings

Rent-A-Center Inc. (NASDAQ:RCII) reported its results for the third quarter.  Net income for Rent-A-Center Inc. fell to $31.2 million (52 cents per share) vs. $40.5 million (62 cents per share) a year earlier. This is a decline of 22.9% from the year earlier quarter. Revenue rose 6% to $704.3 million from the year earlier quarter. RCII reported adjusted net income of 60 cents per share. By that measure, the company beat the mean estimate of 58 cents per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $697.5 million.

“Our results for the quarter were excellent in this very challenging economy as the demand for our products and services remained strong,” said Mark E. Speese, the Company’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Both our core rent-to-own and RAC Acceptance businesses reflected this customer demand in the quarter with the company’s 2.0% same store sales growth split evenly between the two businesses,” Speese added. “In 2012, we will continue to execute on our strategic plan that we communicated in November 2010. We will continue to focus on keeping the core business strong and extending our reach both domestically and internationally with a compelling set of growth initiatives,” Speese continued. “Accordingly, our 2012 guidance includes total revenue growth in the range of 8% to 11% and net earnings per diluted share growth in the range of 8% to 15%, including approximately $0.20 per share dilution related to our international growth initiatives. We believe our growth will continue to be supported with our significant cash flow from operations and a solid balance sheet,” Speese concluded.

Competitors to Watch: Aaron’s, Inc. (NYSE:AAN), AeroCentury Corp. (AMEX:ACY), McGrath RentCorp (NASDAQ:MGRC), Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY), GameStop Corp. (NYSE:GME), RadioShack Corporation (NYSE:RSH), CONN’S, Inc. (NASDAQ:CONN), hhgregg, Inc. (NYSE:HGG), and Electro Rent Corporation (NASDAQ:ELRC).

Aaron’s Inc. (NYSE:AAN) reported its results for the third quarter. Net income for the specialty retail company rose to $28 million (36 cents per share) vs. $26.2 million (32 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 7.1% from the year earlier quarter. Revenue rose 7.3% to $485.2 million from the year earlier quarter. AAN fell short of the mean analyst estimate of 38 cents per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $483 million.

“We once again are seeing strong revenue gains with same store revenues up 5.3% and same store customer counts up 6.3% over the third quarter of last year,” said Robert C. Loudermilk, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer of Aaron’s. “Even though these gains are outstanding considering the current economic conditions and the traditionally more difficult summer months in our business, there is no doubt that our customers are struggling as a result of high unemployment and overall economic pressures. However, we believe we are successfully meeting these challenges and that business will remain good in the upcoming quarters.”

Competitors to Watch: Rent-A-Center, Inc (NASDAQ:RCII), AeroCentury Corp. (AMEX:ACY), McGrath RentCorp (NASDAQ:MGRC), CONN’S, Inc. (NASDAQ:CONN), Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY), Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (NYSE:WSM), Pier one Imports, Inc. (NYSE:PIR), GameStop Corp. (NYSE:GME), and RadioShack Corporation (NYSE:RSH).