Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Encore Capital Group (NASDAQ:ECPG) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report published on Tuesday morning.

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 brokerages have also recently weighed in on ECPG. William Blair reaffirmed an outperform rating on shares of Encore Capital Group in a report on Thursday, August 9th. BidaskClub raised shares of Encore Capital Group from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a report on Wednesday, July 11th. ValuEngine raised shares of Encore Capital Group from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, July 10th. Oppenheimer reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of Encore Capital Group in a report on Monday, July 16th. Finally, UBS Group cut shares of Encore Capital Group from an outperform rating to a market perform rating in a report on Tuesday, October 2nd. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $49.75.

Shares of ECPG traded up $0.52 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $29.35. 5,218 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 361,554. The stock has a market capitalization of $924.21 million, a PE ratio of 7.31, a P/E/G ratio of 0.48 and a beta of 1.55. Encore Capital Group has a fifty-two week low of $28.78 and a fifty-two week high of $52.00. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 5.74, a quick ratio of 0.63 and a current ratio of 0.63.

Encore Capital Group (NASDAQ:ECPG) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, August 8th. The asset manager reported $1.33 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.12 by $0.21. The firm had revenue of $349.75 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $335.05 million. Encore Capital Group had a net margin of 6.84% and a return on equity of 20.28%. The firm’s revenue was up 20.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.87 earnings per share. On average, sell-side analysts predict that Encore Capital Group will post 4.8 earnings per share for the current year.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. increased its stake in Encore Capital Group by 10.0% in the first quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 169,214 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $7,649,000 after purchasing an additional 15,351 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in Encore Capital Group by 3.1% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,117,650 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $140,916,000 after purchasing an additional 93,940 shares during the last quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund increased its stake in Encore Capital Group by 47.4% in the first quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund now owns 39,496 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $1,785,000 after purchasing an additional 12,696 shares during the last quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can increased its stake in Encore Capital Group by 5.0% in the first quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can now owns 31,176 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $1,407,000 after purchasing an additional 1,487 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its stake in Encore Capital Group by 2.9% in the first quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,324,251 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $59,856,000 after purchasing an additional 37,931 shares during the last quarter.

About Encore Capital Group

Encore Capital Group, Inc, a specialty finance company, together with its subsidiaries, provides debt recovery solutions and other related services for consumers across a range of financial assets worldwide. The company purchases portfolios of defaulted consumer receivables at deep discounts to face value, as well as manages them by working with individuals as they repay their obligations and works toward financial recovery.

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Analyst Recommendations for Encore Capital Group (NASDAQ:ECPG)

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