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Is It Too Late To Consider Buying Rent-A-Center, Inc. (NASDAQ:RCII)?

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Rent-A-Center, Inc. (NASDAQ:RCII), might not be a large cap stock, but it received a lot of attention from a substantial price increase on the NASDAQGS over the last few months. With many analysts covering the mid-cap stock, we may expect any price-sensitive announcements have already been factored into the stock’s share price. But what if there is still an opportunity to buy? Let’s take a look at Rent-A-Center’s outlook and value based on the most recent financial data to see if the opportunity still exists.

View our latest analysis for Rent-A-Center

Is Rent-A-Center still cheap?

Rent-A-Center is currently expensive based on my price multiple model, where I look at the company's price-to-earnings ratio in comparison to the industry average. I’ve used the price-to-earnings ratio in this instance because there’s not enough visibility to forecast its cash flows. The stock’s ratio of 18.25x is currently well-above the industry average of 10.63x, meaning that it is trading at a more expensive price relative to its peers. But, is there another opportunity to buy low in the future? Since Rent-A-Center’s share price is quite volatile, this could mean it can sink lower (or rise even further) in the future, giving us another chance to invest. This is based on its high beta, which is a good indicator for how much the stock moves relative to the rest of the market.

What kind of growth will Rent-A-Center generate?

earnings-and-revenue-growth
earnings-and-revenue-growth

Investors looking for growth in their portfolio may want to consider the prospects of a company before buying its shares. Buying a great company with a robust outlook at a cheap price is always a good investment, so let’s also take a look at the company's future expectations. Rent-A-Center's earnings over the next few years are expected to double, indicating a very optimistic future ahead. This should lead to stronger cash flows, feeding into a higher share value.

What this means for you:

Are you a shareholder? It seems like the market has well and truly priced in RCII’s positive outlook, with shares trading above industry price multiples. At this current price, shareholders may be asking a different question – should I sell? If you believe RCII should trade below its current price, selling high and buying it back up again when its price falls towards the industry PE ratio can be profitable. But before you make this decision, take a look at whether its fundamentals have changed.

Are you a potential investor? If you’ve been keeping tabs on RCII for some time, now may not be the best time to enter into the stock. The price has surpassed its industry peers, which means it is likely that there is no more upside from mispricing. However, the optimistic prospect is encouraging for RCII, which means it’s worth diving deeper into other factors in order to take advantage of the next price drop.

So while earnings quality is important, it's equally important to consider the risks facing Rent-A-Center at this point in time. Our analysis shows 4 warning signs for Rent-A-Center (1 can't be ignored!) and we strongly recommend you look at them before investing.

If you are no longer interested in Rent-A-Center, you can use our free platform to see our list of over 50 other stocks with a high growth potential.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.