EZCORP, Inc. (NASDAQ:EZPW) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Monday. The brokerage presently has a $9.75 target price on the credit services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective would indicate a potential upside of 10.17% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Ezcorp Inc. is engaged in establishing, acquiring, and operating pawnshops which function as convenient sources of consumer credit and as value-oriented specialty retailers of primarily previously owned merchandise. Through its lending function, the company makes relatively small, non-recourse loans secured by pledges of tangible personal property. The company contracts for a pawn service charge to compensate it for each pawn loan. “

EZPW has been the topic of several other reports. BidaskClub lowered shares of EZCORP from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, July 13th. Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $10.50 price objective on shares of EZCORP in a report on Friday, June 16th. Finally, TheStreet upgraded shares of EZCORP from a “d+” rating to a “c-” rating in a report on Friday, May 19th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $9.88.

EZCORP (EZPW) traded up 1.14% during midday trading on Monday, reaching $8.85. 1,497,268 shares of the company traded hands. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $8.20 and its 200 day moving average price is $8.67. EZCORP has a 12 month low of $7.55 and a 12 month high of $12.00. The firm has a market capitalization of $480.52 million, a PE ratio of 20.39 and a beta of 1.98.

EZCORP (NASDAQ:EZPW) last released its earnings results on Monday, July 31st. The credit services provider reported $0.10 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.11 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $183.60 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $182.10 million. EZCORP had a net margin of 3.16% and a return on equity of 3.65%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.9% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts anticipate that EZCORP will post $0.53 earnings per share for the current year.

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Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. State of Tennessee Treasury Department raised its position in shares of EZCORP by 17.8% in the first quarter. State of Tennessee Treasury Department now owns 45,954 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $375,000 after buying an additional 6,935 shares during the last quarter. Comerica Bank raised its position in shares of EZCORP by 4.3% in the first quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 53,848 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $501,000 after buying an additional 2,212 shares during the last quarter. Sigma Planning Corp raised its position in shares of EZCORP by 27.9% in the first quarter. Sigma Planning Corp now owns 20,070 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $164,000 after buying an additional 4,375 shares during the last quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC raised its position in shares of EZCORP by 172.0% in the fourth quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 39,534 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $421,000 after buying an additional 25,001 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Principal Financial Group Inc. raised its position in shares of EZCORP by 4.3% in the first quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 370,583 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $3,020,000 after buying an additional 15,202 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 86.10% of the company’s stock.

About EZCORP

EZCORP, Inc provides pawn loans in the United States and Mexico, and consumer loans in Mexico. The Company operates through three segments: U.S. Pawn, which includes its EZPAWN, Value Pawn & Jewelry and other branded pawn operations in the United States; Mexico Pawn, which includes its Empeno Facil pawn operations and cash converters buy/sell store operations in Mexico, and Other International, which includes its CASHMAX financial services operations in Canada and its equity interest in Cash Converters International.

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