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Aaron's (NYSE:AAN) was upgraded by research analysts at Stifel Nicolaus from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Monday, TheFlyOnTheWall.com reports. The firm currently has a $45.00 price objective on the stock. Stifel Nicolaus’ target price would suggest a potential upside of 39.88% from the stock’s previous close.

The analysts wrote, “should outstrip” Aaron’s declining results. The analyst wrote, “While Progressive’s EBIT in 2014 will only represent 15% of consolidate profits (partly due to a nine month stub period), the approximate 50% growth in EBIT from Progressive will still allow Aaron’s to grow its consolidated profits. Things get more interesting in 2015 when Progressive is owned for a full year, its contribution margins widen, and merger synergies begin to be realized. We estimate that in 2015, Progressive could be generating approximately one-third of Aaron’s total profits.”

In other Aaron's news, CEO John Robinson bought 50,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, April 28th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $28.96 per share, with a total value of $1,448,000.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 78,846 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,283,380. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link.

A number of other analysts have also recently weighed in on AAN. Analysts at Zacks upgraded shares of Aaron's from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 30th. They now have a $32.90 price target on the stock. Separately, analysts at Northcoast Research upgraded shares of Aaron's from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, April 21st. They now have a $36.00 price target on the stock. Finally, analysts at Canaccord Genuity raised their price target on shares of Aaron's from $27.00 to $30.00 in a research note on Tuesday, April 15th. They now have a “hold” rating on the stock. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $34.78.

Aaron's (NYSE:AAN) traded up 2.89% on Monday, hitting $33.10. 295,071 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. Aaron's has a 52 week low of $26.18 and a 52 week high of $32.27. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $28.71 and its 200-day moving average is $28.45. The company has a market cap of $2.399 billion and a P/E ratio of 22.48.

Aaron's (NYSE:AAN) last released its earnings data on Friday, April 25th. The company reported $0.53 EPS for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of $0.53. The company had revenue of $585.40 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $591.08 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.67 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 1.3% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts expect that Aaron's will post $1.96 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which is scheduled for Thursday, July 3rd. Investors of record on Thursday, June 5th will be given a dividend of $0.21 per share. This represents a $0.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.61%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, June 3rd.

Aaron’s, Inc (NYSE:AAN) is a specialty retailer of consumer electronics, computers, residential furniture, household appliances and accessories.

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