Encore Capital Group Inc. (NASDAQ:ECPG) fell 15.6% during mid-day trading on Friday . The stock traded as low as $20.80 and last traded at $20.83, with a volume of 1,882,276 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $24.68.

Several research firms have recently issued reports on ECPG. Northland Securities cut shares of Encore Capital Group from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research report on Friday. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Encore Capital Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 27th. JMP Securities reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Encore Capital Group in a research report on Wednesday, June 8th. Finally, William Blair reiterated an “outperform” rating on shares of Encore Capital Group in a research report on Friday, May 6th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $42.33.

The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $23.89 and its 200-day moving average price is $24.45. The firm has a market capitalization of $523.63 million and a PE ratio of 13.05.

Encore Capital Group (NASDAQ:ECPG) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 4th. The company reported $1.29 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.21 by $0.08. The company earned $289 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $296.97 million. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.21 EPS. On average, equities research analysts predict that Encore Capital Group Inc. will post $5.21 EPS for the current year.

A number of large investors recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Bank of Montreal Can raised its stake 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 in the last quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund raised its stake in Encore Capital Group by 7.8% in the fourth quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund now owns 328,990 shares of the company’s stock valued at $9,567,000 after buying an additional 23,699 shares in the last quarter. Rhumbline Advisers raised its stake 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 in the last quarter. First Trust Advisors LP raised its stake 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 in the last quarter. Finally, California State Teachers Retirement System raised its stake 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 in the last quarter.

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 two segments: Portfolio Purchasing and Recovery, and Tax Lien Business. Its 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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