Encore Capital Group Inc. (NASDAQ:ECPG) shares saw strong trading volume on Thursday . 374,829 shares changed hands during mid-day trading, an increase of 64% from the previous session’s volume of 227,914 shares.The stock last traded at $24.12 and had previously closed at $24.90.

Several research analysts have commented on ECPG shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Encore Capital Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday. JMP Securities restated a “buy” rating on shares of Encore Capital Group in a research report on Wednesday, June 8th. Finally, William Blair restated an “outperform” rating on shares of Encore Capital Group in a research report on Friday, May 6th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company. Encore Capital Group currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $42.33.

The company has a market cap of $613.45 million and a PE ratio of 15.28. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $23.74 and a 200-day moving average price of $24.27.

Encore Capital Group (NASDAQ:ECPG) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, May 10th. The company reported $1.31 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.27 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $289 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $303.78 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $1.23 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 4.0% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts expect that Encore Capital Group Inc. will post $5.21 EPS for the current year.

A number of hedge funds and institutional investors have added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Rhumbline Advisers increased its position in Encore Capital Group by 3.3% in the fourth quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 39,690 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,154,000 after buying an additional 1,275 shares during the period. Bank of Montreal Can increased its position in Encore Capital Group by 10.8% in the fourth quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 40,739 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,185,000 after buying an additional 3,976 shares during the period. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System increased its position in Encore Capital Group by 4.0% in the fourth quarter. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System now owns 43,704 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,271,000 after buying an additional 1,686 shares during the period. California State Teachers Retirement System increased its position in Encore Capital Group by 1.7% in the fourth quarter. California State Teachers Retirement System now owns 48,235 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,403,000 after buying an additional 800 shares during the period. Finally, First Trust Advisors LP increased its position in Encore Capital Group by 22.0% in the fourth quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 54,133 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,574,000 after buying an additional 9,750 shares during the period.

Encore Capital Group, Inc is a specialty finance company providing debt recovery solutions for consumers and property owners across a range of financial assets. The Company conducts business through two segments: portfolio purchasing and recovery, and tax lien business. The Company’s portfolio purchasing and recovery segment purchases portfolios of defaulted consumer receivables at discounts and manages them by partnering with individuals as they repay their obligations and work toward financial recovery.

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