Aaron’s, Inc. (NYSE:AAN) – Investment analysts at Jefferies Group lifted their Q1 2018 earnings per share estimates for Aaron’s in a research note issued on Wednesday. Jefferies Group analyst K. Joseph now expects that the company will earn $1.00 per share for the quarter, up from their prior estimate of $0.86. Jefferies Group has a “Buy” rating and a $54.00 price objective on the stock. Jefferies Group also issued estimates for Aaron’s’ FY2018 earnings at $3.40 EPS.

Aaron’s (NYSE:AAN) last issued its earnings results on Friday, October 27th. The company reported $0.43 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.54 by ($0.11). The business had revenue of $838.80 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $827.20 million. Aaron’s had a net margin of 4.15% and a return on equity of 11.41%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 9.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.50 EPS.

Other equities analysts have also recently issued research reports about the company. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Aaron’s from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $45.00 price target for the company in a report on Wednesday. Sidoti upgraded Aaron’s from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $45.00 target price for the company in a report on Wednesday, November 29th. Off Wall Street initiated coverage on Aaron’s in a report on Monday, September 18th. They issued a “sell” rating for the company. Janney Montgomery Scott initiated coverage on Aaron’s in a report on Wednesday, October 18th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $42.00 target price for the company. Finally, Northcoast Research set a $53.00 target price on Aaron’s and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, December 1st. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating, ten have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $45.27.

Aaron’s (AAN) traded up $1.97 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $41.12. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 888,000 shares, compared to its average volume of 770,112. The stock has a market cap of $2,770.00, a PE ratio of 21.76 and a beta of 0.22. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.24, a current ratio of 2.35 and a quick ratio of 0.74. Aaron’s has a fifty-two week low of $26.12 and a fifty-two week high of $48.22.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Northwestern Mutual Investment Management Company LLC raised its position in shares of Aaron’s by 1.9% in the 2nd quarter. Northwestern Mutual Investment Management Company LLC now owns 11,178 shares of the company’s stock worth $245,000 after acquiring an additional 210 shares in the last quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank grew its stake in Aaron’s by 13.4% during the 2nd quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 2,649 shares of the company’s stock worth $103,000 after buying an additional 312 shares during the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. grew its stake in Aaron’s by 17.6% during the 2nd quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 4,708 shares of the company’s stock worth $183,000 after buying an additional 705 shares during the last quarter. TrimTabs Asset Management LLC grew its stake in Aaron’s by 17.2% during the 3rd quarter. TrimTabs Asset Management LLC now owns 9,709 shares of the company’s stock worth $424,000 after buying an additional 1,422 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Riverhead Capital Management LLC grew its stake in Aaron’s by 70.9% during the 2nd quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC now owns 3,930 shares of the company’s stock valued at $153,000 after purchasing an additional 1,630 shares during the last quarter.

In other news, CEO John W. Robinson sold 15,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, October 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $36.24, for a total value of $543,600.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 337,340 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $12,225,201.60. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, CFO Steven A. Michaels sold 4,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, October 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $37.15, for a total value of $148,600.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 56,769 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,108,968.35. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 19,003 shares of company stock valued at $692,308. Corporate insiders own 1.93% of the company’s stock.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, January 2nd. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, December 13th were given a $0.03 dividend. This represents a $0.12 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.29%. This is a positive change from Aaron’s’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.03. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, December 12th. Aaron’s’s payout ratio is presently 6.35%.

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About Aaron’s

Aaron’s, Inc (Aaron’s) is an omnichannel provider of lease-purchase solutions. The Company engages in the sales and lease ownership and specialty retailing of furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories through its Company-operated and franchised stores in Canada, as well as its e-commerce platform, Aarons.com.

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