- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
Shares of Aaron's, Inc. AAN gained 15.8% during the trading session on May 7, following better-than-expected results in first-quarter 2020. Also, the top line grew year over year.
However, management had earlier withdrawn 2020 guidance owing to uncertainties stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. Nevertheless, management is encouraged by higher customer payments in April as well as improving trajectory of its lease origination activity in the past few weeks. Impressively, the reopening of Aaron's Business stores supported by e-commerce registered an increase of above 50% in April.
Aaron's delivered adjusted earnings of 85 cents per share, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 75 cents. However, the metric declined 30.5% from the prior-year quarter.
Reported loss per share was $4.19 on a GAAP basis against earnings per share of 82 cents reported in the year-ago quarter.
Aarons Inc Price and Consensus
Aarons Inc price-consensus-chart | Aarons Inc Quote
Consolidated revenues rose 8.8% to $1101.3 million and surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,036 million. Revenue growth was mainly backed by an increase in Progressive revenues, partly offset by soft revenues at Aaron's Business segment.
Aaron’s franchisee revenues declined 14.7% to $102.6 million. Same-store revenues for franchised stores decreased 5.2% and same-store customer counts dropped 6.7% in the reported quarter. Notably, the company’s franchisees had a customer base of 220,000 at the end of the quarter.
Adjusted EBITDA declined 14.6% year over year to $98.5 million, with adjusted EBITDA margin declining 250 basis points (bps) to 8.9% when calculated based on the 2019 adoption of ASC 842. The metric was hurt by higher bad debt expenses, lease merchandise and CECL-driven loan loss reserves.
Revenues at the segment grew 25.8% to $658.5 million in the reported quarter. Moreover, invoice volume rose 13.4%, owing to a 2.9% rise in invoice volume per active door and a 10.2% increase in active doors to roughly 21,800. As of Mar 31, 2020, the division had 998,000 customers, reflecting 15.6% growth year over year.
The segment’s EBITDA was $70.2 million, up 7.5% from the year-ago quarter. However, EBITDA margin contracted 180 bps to 10.7%.
Total revenues at the Aaron’s Business segment fell 9.8% to $432.8 million, mainly due to net reduction of 183 outlets in the 15 months ended Mar 30, and lower lease portfolio balance impact. Moreover, same-store revenues and customer count on a same-store basis declined 4.6% and 6.4%, respectively.
Non-retail sales tumbled 27.4% on a year-over-year basis. Lease revenues and fees for the three months ended Mar 31, 2020, declined 7.5% from the year-ago quarter. At the quarter-end, the company-operated Aaron’s stores had 902,000 customers, reflecting a 9.1% year-over-year drop.
The segment’s adjusted EBITDA was $35 million, down 31.9% year over year owing to lower portfolio balance entering the first quarter and incremental coronavirus-related reserves. Also, adjusted EBITDA margin contracted 260 bps to 8.1%.
As of Mar 31, 2020, Aaron's Business had 1,129 company-operated stores and 318 franchised stores.
Sales at the Vive segment, formerly known as Dent-A-Med, Inc. (DAMI), amounted to $9.9 million, up 15.1% from a year ago.
The Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) company ended the quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $551 million, debt of $646.1 million, and shareholders’ equity of $1,446.6 million. As of Mar 30, 2020, the company generated cash from operations of $227.8 million.
During the quarter, the company did not repurchase shares but paid dividends of $2.7 million.
At the onset of the pandemic, the company has implemented several new initiatives. Under Progressive Leasing, management transitioned almost all associates to work from home and put non-essential travel on hold. Also, it provided customers payment relief and lent support to retail partners' businesses.
With respect to Aaron's Business, management shuttered all company-operated showrooms and shifted to a curbside and e-commerce operating model. Also, it furloughed workers and suspended in-home product delivery and setup. Moreover, the company has provided personal protective equipment to store associates. It had also suspended franchise royalty payments worth $1.1 million in March and $2.1 million in April.
Stocks to Consider
Sprouts Farmers Market SFM has a trailing four-quarter positive average earnings surprise of 37.2% and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
SpartanNash SPTN, also a Zacks Rank #1 stock, has a positive earnings surprise of 15% for the last reported quarter.
Costco COST has a long-term earnings growth rate of 8.6%. Currently, it carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
Biggest Tech Breakthrough in a Generation
Be among the early investors in the new type of device that experts say could impact society as much as the discovery of electricity. Current technology will soon be outdated and replaced by these new devices. In the process, it’s expected to create 22 million jobs and generate $12.3 trillion in activity.
A select few stocks could skyrocket the most as rollout accelerates for this new tech. Early investors could see gains similar to buying Microsoft in the 1990s. Zacks’ just-released special report reveals 8 stocks to watch. The report is only available for a limited time.
See 8 breakthrough stocks now>>
Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
Aarons Inc (AAN) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Sprouts Farmers Market Inc (SFM) : Free Stock Analysis Report
SpartanNash Company (SPTN) : Free Stock Analysis Report
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.