Pra Group (PRAA) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Strong Sell

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Pra Group (NASDAQ:PRAA) from a hold rating to a strong sell rating in a report published on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “PRA Group’s  shares have underperformed the industry in a year’s time. The company’s rising level of expenses continues to weigh on the bottom line. Increasing interest expenses has also been putting pressure on the company's profitability. PRA Group is also witnessing softness in its Receivable Income & Cash Collection businesses that continue to affect its underwriting results. However, continued favorable performance of the fee-for-service business instills optimism. Several strategic acquisitions and alliances positioned the company well for long term growth. The company’s financial health also impresses.”

Several other equities research analysts have also commented on PRAA. Citigroup lowered shares of Pra Group to an underperform rating in a research report on Thursday, September 21st. Raymond James Financial reiterated an underperform rating on shares of Pra Group in a research report on Thursday, September 21st. Janney Montgomery Scott lowered shares of Pra Group from a neutral rating to a sell rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 4th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods lowered shares of Pra Group from an outperform rating to a market perform rating and boosted their price objective for the stock from $36.00 to $40.00 in a research report on Tuesday, October 10th. Finally, UBS Group initiated coverage on shares of Pra Group in a research report on Monday, January 8th. They issued a market perform rating on the stock. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and five have issued a hold rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $40.00.

Pra Group (PRAA) traded down $0.05 during trading hours on Tuesday, hitting $35.40. 221,200 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 339,536. Pra Group has a fifty-two week low of $25.72 and a fifty-two week high of $42.70. The firm has a market cap of $1,600.00, a PE ratio of 28.32 and a beta of 1.59.

Pra Group (NASDAQ:PRAA) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 8th. The business services provider reported $0.34 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.38 by ($0.04). Pra Group had a return on equity of 2.98% and a net margin of 7.57%. The company had revenue of $201.00 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $196.96 million. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.68 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 9.5% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts forecast that Pra Group will post 1.38 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, Director Penelope W. Kyle sold 1,975 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Saturday, December 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $33.45, for a total value of $66,063.75. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 36,425 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,218,416.25. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. 2.10% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in PRAA. Turtle Creek Asset Management Inc. lifted its holdings in Pra Group by 35.7% in the 3rd quarter. Turtle Creek Asset Management Inc. now owns 5,955,965 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $170,638,000 after purchasing an additional 1,566,430 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its holdings in Pra Group by 8.8% in the 3rd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,897,547 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $54,366,000 after purchasing an additional 152,883 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp lifted its holdings in Pra Group by 3.5% in the 2nd quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,143,509 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $43,341,000 after purchasing an additional 39,117 shares in the last quarter. Royal Bank of Canada lifted its holdings in Pra Group by 1.7% in the 2nd quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 819,981 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $31,079,000 after purchasing an additional 13,793 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Northern Trust Corp lifted its holdings in Pra Group by 3.9% in the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 790,608 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $29,965,000 after purchasing an additional 29,940 shares in the last quarter.

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About Pra Group

PRA Group, Inc (PRA Group) is a financial and business services company with operations in the Americas and Europe. The Company’s primary business is the purchase, collection and management of portfolios of nonperforming loans. The Company operates through the account receivables management segment. It also provides fee-based services, such as vehicle location, skip tracing and collateral recovery for auto lenders, government entities and law enforcement; revenue administration, audit and revenue discovery/recovery services for local government entities; class action claims recovery services and purchases; servicing of consumer bankruptcy accounts in the United States, and contingent collections of nonperforming loans in Europe and South America.

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