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Rent-A-Center 4Q income slips on US results

PLANO, Texas (AP) -- Rental furniture company Rent-A-Center Inc. said Monday that its net income fell 4 percent in the fourth quarter as U.S. sales declined.

The company also said its international business improved, and it reported better results for its RAC Acceptance unit, which provides rental contracts to customers at third-party stores who don't qualify for credit.

In the quarter ended Dec. 31, Rent-A-Center net income slipped to $47.5 million, or 81 cents per share, from $49.3 million, or 83 cents per share. Revenue rose 3 percent, to $758.4 million.

Analysts expecting net income of 83 cents per share and $777.9 million in revenue, according to FactSet.

Rent-A-Center runs 3,095 stores in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Canada, and Mexico. It also has 985 RAC Acceptance Kiosks in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, and 225 rent-to-own stores under the name ColorTyme.

Net income rose 11 percent in 2012, to $183.5 million, or $3.09 per share, compared with $164.6 million, or $2.66 per share, in 2011. Revenue grew 7 percent, to $3.08 billion from $2.88 billion.

In 2013 the company expects to earn between $3.25 and $3.40 per share and said its revenue will grow 5 to 8 percent, which implies a total of $3.24 billion to $3.33 billion.

Analysts were forecasting net income of $3.49 per share and revenue of $3.27 billion on average.

Shares of Rent-A-Center rose 45 cents to close at $35.43.