Has Conn’s Got All Its Ducks in a Row?

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Conn’s Inc. (NASDAQ: CONN) reported its fiscal fourth-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Tuesday. The company posted $0.05 in earnings per share (EPS) and $432.8 million in revenue, versus consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters that called for a net loss of $0.12 per share and revenue of $431.12 million. The same period of last year reportedly had EPS of $0.11 and $456.82 million in revenue.

Total retail revenues totaled $355.90 million for the quarter, compared with $76.91 million in finance charges and other revenues. The fourth-quarter of last year had retail revenues of $376.53 million and other revenues of $80.29 million.

In terms of first-quarter guidance, the company expects to see same-store sales down mid-teens, retail gross margin between 37.5% and 38.0% of total retail sales, and finance charges and other revenues between $74.0 million and $78.0 million. The consensus estimates call for a net loss of $0.14 per share and $379.35 million in revenue for the coming quarter.

During the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2017, the company opened no new stores, but in the full fiscal year it opened 10 new stores. It currently plans to open three new stores during fiscal year 2018, two of which were opened in North Carolina in February.

On the books, Conn’s cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash totaled $134.26 million at the end of the quarter, up from $90.83 million in the same period of last year.

Norm Miller, board chair, chief executive and president of Conn’s, commented:

Fiscal 2017 was a transitional year, focused on creating a strong credit platform to improve Conn’s near-term results and support the pursuit of the Company’s long-term growth strategy. While much of our focus during fiscal 2017 was on turning around the credit operation, Conn’s retail business performed well. The Company has created a differentiated and valuable retail experience by offering customers a large selection of brand name, top-of-the-line products, leading customer service and affordable credit programs. Our credit operation continues to benefit from the structural changes we are making to increase yield, reduce losses and improve credit segment profitability. During the fourth quarter, all originations in Texas were under the new direct loan program, and in early March, we fully implemented our direct loan program in Louisiana. Over 80% of current originations now have a weighted average interest rate of over 28%, compared to almost 22% in September.

Shares of Conn’s closed Monday down 3.4% at $8.45, with a consensus analyst price target of $18.33 and a 52-week trading range of $6.54 to $15.77. Following the release of the earnings report, the stock was up 24% at $10.49 in early trading indications Tuesday.