Pra Group (PRAA) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Strong Sell

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Pra Group (NASDAQ:PRAA) from a hold rating to a strong sell rating in a report published on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “PRA Group’s  shares have underperformed the industry in a year’s time. The company’s rising level of expenses continues to weigh on the bottom line. Increasing interest expenses has also been putting pressure on the company's profitability. PRA Group is also witnessing softness in its Receivable Income & Cash Collection businesses that continue to affect its underwriting results. However, continued favorable performance of the fee-for-service business instills optimism. Several strategic acquisitions and alliances positioned the company well for long term growth. The company’s financial health also impresses.”

Several other equities analysts have also recently issued reports on PRAA. Raymond James Financial reissued an underperform rating on shares of Pra Group in a research note on Thursday, September 21st. Citigroup cut shares of Pra Group to an underperform rating in a research note on Thursday, September 21st. Janney Montgomery Scott raised shares of Pra Group from a sell rating to a neutral rating in a research note on Thursday, November 9th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods cut shares of Pra Group from an outperform rating to a market perform rating and boosted their price objective for the company from $36.00 to $40.00 in a research note on Tuesday, October 10th. Finally, Oppenheimer began coverage on shares of Pra Group in a research note on Monday, January 8th. They issued a hold rating on the stock. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and five have assigned a hold rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $40.00.

Pra Group (NASDAQ PRAA) traded down $0.05 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $35.40. 221,200 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 339,536. Pra Group has a 1 year low of $25.72 and a 1 year high of $42.70. The stock has a market cap of $1,600.00, a P/E ratio of 28.32 and a beta of 1.59.

Pra Group (NASDAQ:PRAA) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 8th. The business services provider reported $0.34 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.38 by ($0.04). Pra Group had a net margin of 7.57% and a return on equity of 2.98%. The business had revenue of $201.00 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $196.96 million. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.68 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 9.5% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts predict that Pra Group will post 1.38 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other Pra Group news, Director Penelope W. Kyle sold 1,975 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Saturday, December 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $33.45, for a total value of $66,063.75. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 36,425 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,218,416.25. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Insiders own 2.10% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. grew its stake in shares of Pra Group by 145.3% during the 2nd quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 142,001 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $5,382,000 after purchasing an additional 84,112 shares during the period. New York State Common Retirement Fund grew its stake in shares of Pra Group by 27.6% during the 2nd quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund now owns 62,268 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $2,360,000 after purchasing an additional 13,467 shares during the period. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA grew its stake in shares of Pra Group by 73.2% during the 2nd quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 15,612 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $592,000 after purchasing an additional 6,596 shares during the period. Peregrine Capital Management LLC grew its stake in shares of Pra Group by 2.1% during the 3rd quarter. Peregrine Capital Management LLC now owns 263,639 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $7,553,000 after purchasing an additional 5,344 shares during the period. Finally, BlueCrest Capital Management Ltd acquired a new position in shares of Pra Group during the 2nd quarter worth $2,020,000.

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Pra Group Company Profile

PRA Group, Inc (PRA Group) is a financial and business services company with operations in the Americas and Europe. The Company’s primary business is the purchase, collection and management of portfolios of nonperforming loans. The Company operates through the account receivables management segment. It also provides fee-based services, such as vehicle location, skip tracing and collateral recovery for auto lenders, government entities and law enforcement; revenue administration, audit and revenue discovery/recovery services for local government entities; class action claims recovery services and purchases; servicing of consumer bankruptcy accounts in the United States, and contingent collections of nonperforming loans in Europe and South America.

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