Or maybe just fear of more regulation. If it's the state of the economy, the worry is probably unwarranted -- earnings per share grew without interruption right through the recent recession. Pretty much what you'd expect of this business.
EZCorp (NASDAQ:EZPW) is sagging over items totally unrelated to its business. Its competitor, DFC Global (NASDAQ:DLLR) warned of a big earnings hit from its U.K. operations, yet EZ isn’t meaningfully exposed in the U.K. Legislation under consideration in Texas, EZ’s big payday loan market, will have no material impact on the company is passed, and payday itself now represents a small percentage of its revenue.
Meanwhile, EZCorp has purchased a phenomenally profitable domestic online lender and will scale it internationally, while seeing accretive effects from other recent acquisitions. This 15% growth play is literally selling at 7.5x earnings, or at a screaming 50% discount.
I was wondering if perhaps the initial drop was due to the UK regulator's statement and its effect on DFC but that the continued slide might have other causes. Seems a bit much -- shouldn't take that long for people to realize the UK thing isn't a big issue.