04-27-2019: Rent-a-Center, Inc. (RCII): Activist Investors Attempted to Intervene

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Recommendation

Rent-a-Center, Inc.

After a look at their website, we concluded Rent-A-Center, Inc. (RCII) is targeting poorer families needing to make credit purchases with "lease to own" for furniture, computers, TV sets, and smart phones. The first thing that jumps out about this particular stock is a chart pattern that usually appears when a corporation is about to be acquired. There were two specific quantum leaps on the stock chart, the first occurring on 6/18/2018. This was followed by a leveling off at the offer price from Vintage Capital, an activist shareholder, which was accompanied by several other activist investors, some urging shareholders accept the offer and others resisting it, which included Engaged Capital, OKAPI Partners, and Glass Lewis. At the same time a couple of CEO transitions occurred during the period. The company was clearly having management problems, and what appeared to be a hostile takeover was encouraged by shareholders with a resulting improvement in share price leveling off at the offer price.

Oddly, a second quantum jump upward occurred on 12/18/2018, when the stock got moving again on high volume after the acquisition agreement was terminated. We are not entirely clear on why, but apparently it related to shareholder approval of a new "strategic plan" described extensively by the corporation.

In both instances, shareholder class action lawsuit attorneys were lining up at the door representing shareholders to whom it was believed management had misrepresented facts. Those suits are pending to this day, which we think impacts the general news or "story stock" outlook negatively.

The stock has a very strong chart pattern, with almost all of our indicators signaling a further buy position and giving the stock the definite chart pattern of a "buy and hold" stock.

Analysts are slightly negative on the stock, which is a rare occurrence in today's market. But researchers are generally positive, with some notable exceptions including Cramer's "Street.Com", but Standard & Poor's gives it its highest rating. That seems really odd to us as our "Zenith Index" is unacceptably low on the stock, seemingly troubled by a mixture of positive fundamentals but a trend that seems to be going in the wrong direction. While the company is definitely turning around its earnings picture, a five-year look shows some very heavy losses around 2015 which would be hard to overcome.

Institutions are net sellers. Margins are low. The earnings improvement is notable in terms of a difficult period for some of the company's peers in the Retail Specialty Group. <



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Zenith Index

Under current market conditions, a Zenith Index Score of 1.20 or above is required for a positive rating on this factor. 1.21 -1.30 is considered acceptable, 1.30-1.40 is considered strong and
> 1.40 is considered exceptionally strong. Accounting statements in this section often contain mistakes, especially in earlier years' totals, but data is deemed sufficient for us to give a rating. More accurate financial statements follow in the next section.

Rent-A-Center, Inc. (RCII)                                Exchange: Nasdaq
5501 Headquarters Drive
Plano, TX 75024                  Sector: Industrials
United States                    Industry: Rental & Leasing Services

Rent-A-Center, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, leases household
durable goods to customers on a rent-to-own basis. The company operates
through four segments: Core U.S., Acceptance Now, Mexico, and
Franchising. It offers durable products, such as consumer electronics;
appliances; computers, including tablets; smartphones; wheels and tires;
and furniture, including accessories under rental purchase agreements.
The company also provides merchandise on an installment sales basis; and
rent-to-own transaction to consumers who do not qualify for financing
from the traditional retailer through kiosks located within retailer's
locations. It operates retail installment sales stores under the Get It
Now and Home Choice names; and rent-to-own and franchised rent-to-own
stores under the Rent-A-Centre, ColorTyme, and RimTyme names. As of
December 31, 2018, the company owned and operated approximately 2,158
stores in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico, including 44
retail installment sales stores; 1,106 Acceptance Now staffed kiosk
locations in 41 states and Puerto Rico; 96 Acceptance Now Direct
locations; and 122 stores in Mexico, as well as franchised 281
rent-to-own stores in 32 states. Rent-A-Center, Inc. was founded in 1986
and is headquartered in Plano, Texas.

Last Trade:  24.36                           52-Week Range:  24.58 -   8.93
Employees: 14,000                            Avg.Volume:   1,444,296 Shares

Corporate Governance:
Pillar scores are Audit: 3; Board: 5; Shareholder Rights: 5; Compensation: 9.
         (A lower number means less governance risk.)

EPS:  0.16    Dividend Amount: $ 0.00          Yield:  0.00%
             Ex-Dividend Date: Jun 28, 2017    Payout Ratio:   0.00

Key Statistics:

    Trailing P/E: 153.21              Forward P/E (est.):  11.17
                                           Target Price:  20.67

Qrtly Stock Price Growth (yoy): 143.36%               Beta:   0.00
Qrtly S&P Index   Growth (yoy):   3.60%        Short Ratio:   2.00%
    Qrtly Revenue Growth (yoy):  10.91%         Shares Out:  53980000
   Qrtly Earnings Growth (yoy): -95.20%

          Book Value:   5.35                    Debt/Equity: 188.49%
    Price/Book Value:   4.55        Operating Profit Margin:   4.34%
         Price/Sales:   0.49                  Profit Margin:   0.32%
         Market Cap:   1,315,000,000       Return on Equity:   3.04%
    Enterprise Value:   1,640,000,000      Return on Assets:   5.12%

    Operating Cash Flow:    227,500,000
         Free Cash Flow:    793,680,000



Annual Income Statement:                          (All numbers in thousands)
  Period Ending                             12/31/2018  12/31/2017  12/31/2016

  Total Revenue                              2,660,465   2,702,540   2,963,252
  Cost of Revenue                              972,297     983,998   1,028,203
  Gross Profit                               1,688,168   1,718,542   1,935,049

Operating Expenses:
  Research & Development                             0           0           0
  Selling, General & Administrative          1,503,761   1,647,743   1,749,570
  Non-Recurring Expenses                             0           0           0
  Other Operating Expenses                           0           0           0
  Total Operating Expenses                   2,545,004   2,706,380   2,858,229

Operating Income or Loss                       115,461      -3,840     105,023

Income from Continuing Operations:
  Total Other Income/Expenses Net             -101,620    -106,360    -218,297
  Earnings Before Interest & Taxes             115,461      -3,840     105,023
  Interest Expense                             -42,968     -47,932     -47,181
  Income Before Taxes                           13,841    -110,200    -113,274
  Income Tax Expense                             5,349    -116,853      -8,079
  Minority Interest                                  0           0           0

Net Income from Continuing Op.s                  8,492       6,653    -105,195

Non-recurring Events:
  Discontinued Operations                            0           0           0
  Extraordinary Items                                0           0           0
  Effect of Accounting Changes                       0           0           0
  Other Items                                        0           0           0
  Net Income                                     8,492       6,653    -105,195
  Preferred Stock & Other Adjustments                0           0           0

Net Income Avail to Common Shares                8,492       6,653    -105,195



Annual Cash Flow Statement:                   (All numbers in thousands)
  Period Ending                         12/31/2018    12/31/2017    12/31/2016

  Net Income                                 8,492         6,653      -105,195

Operating Activities:
  Depreciation                                   0        74,697        79,537
  Adjustments to Net Income                      0       -46,774       146,702
  Changes in Accounts Recv'bls                   0       -15,741       -15,914
  Changes in Liabilities                         0       -17,886        11,883
  Changes in Investories                         0             0             0
  Changes in other Oper'g Acts                   0      -515,409      -422,247

Total Cash Flow f Operations                     0       110,533       354,073

Investing Activities:
  Capital Exenditures                            0       -65,460       -61,143
  Investments                                    0             0             0
  Other Cash Flows fr Investing                  0             0             0

Total Cash Flows from Investing                  0       -63,347       -58,979

Financing Activities:
  Dividends Paid                                 0       -12,811       -25,554
  Sale of Purchase of Stock                      0             0             0
  Net Borrowings                                 0       -52,516      -233,820
  Other Cash Flows fr Financing                  0        -5,258             0

Total Cash Flows from Financing                  0       -70,540      -259,712

  Effect of Exchange Rate Chg                    0           926          -349

Change in Cash & Cash Equiv.                     0       -22,428        35,033



Annual Balance Sheets:                              (All Numbers in Thousands)
  Period Ending                          12/31/2018    12/31/2017    12/31/2016
Current Assets:
  Cash & Cash Equivalents                   155,391        72,968        95,396
  Short Term Investments                          0             0             0
  Net Receivables                            69,645        69,823        69,785
  Inventory                                       0         4,025         3,629
  Other Current Assets                            0             0             0
  Total Current Assets                      225,036       146,816       168,810

  Long-Term Investments                           0             0             0
  Property, Plant & Equipt                        0       282,901       316,428
  Goodwill                                   56,845        56,614        55,308
  Intangible Assets                               0           882         5,252
  Accumulated Amortization                        0             0             0
  Other Assets                            1,063,684       868,991     1,001,954
  Deferred LT Asset Charges                       0             0             0

Total Assets                              1,396,917     1,420,781     1,602,741

Current Liabilities:
  Accounts Payable                                0        90,352       108,238
  Current Portion LT Debt                         0             0             0
  Other Current Liabilities                       0        55,679        67,716
  Total Current Liabilities                       0       388,370        440,434

  Long Term Debt                            540,042       672,887       724,230
  Other Liabilities                         570,358        87,081       173,144
  Deferred LT Liab. Charges                       0             0             0
  Minority Interest                               0             0             0
  Negative Goodwill                               0             0             0

Total Liabilities                         1,110,400     1,148,338     1,337,808

Stockholder Equity:
  Misc. Options, Warrants                         0             0             0
  Redeemable Preferred Stock                      0             0             0
  Preferred Stock                                 0             0             0
  Common Stock                              286,517         1,097         1,095
  Retained Earnings                               0       798,743       800,640
  Treasury Stock                                  0    -1,358,668    -1,363,909
  Capital Surplus                                 0       831,271       827,107
  Other Stockhohlder Equity                       0       -10,991       -16,232
  Total Stockholder Equity                  286,517       272,443       264,933

Net Tangible Assets                         229,672       214,947       204,373


Rent-A-Center, Inc. (RCII)                  [Indices near +3.0, near zero,
                                            or < zero bear special attention.]
P/E Ratio Tests:
P/E Ratio < 28?            0.1828          P/E Ratio > 5?             1.0000
P/E Ratio Vs Growth Rate: -3.0000          Forward P/E Ratio < 28?    2.5067
Price/Sales Ratio < 2.3?   3.0000          Inventory/Sales < 5%?      1.0000
Sales < $1 Billion?        0.3759          Operating Margin < 7.5%?   1.7281

Balance Sheet Tests:
Debt/Equity < 0.40?        0.2122          Long-Term Debt Service:    0.5305
LTD Being Reduced?         3.0000          Short-Term Debt Service:  -2.6871
Current Ratio > 2?         1.0000          Working Capital >= 1.5?    1.0000
Leverage Ratio < 20%?      0.0833          Debt/Assets < 1?           2.5867
Quick Ratio > 1?           3.0000          Inventory Turnover > 1?    1.0000
Share Equity Increase:     2.0800          Market Cap.< 1.5 Billion?  1.1407
                                           Intangibles < 3% Assets?   0.7372
Income Tests:
Profit Margin < 7.5%?      0.0427          EPS Annual Growth > 10%?   0.0783
Dividend Yield > 2.0%?     0.0000          EPS 3-yr Growth > 15?     -1.8581
Enterprise Value/Revenue   0.4944          EPS Growth Consistent?     2.0000
Enterprise Value/EBITDA:   3.0000          Collection < 45 days?      3.0000
EPS Qrtly Growth > 10%?   -0.0011          Gross Pft/Cur. LTD > 1?    3.0000
                                           Borrowing Int. Rate < 6%? -0.7541
Stock Performance Tests:
Volatility > 25%?          2.5468          % Held by Insiders < 5%?   3.0000
Beta > 1.25?               0.0000          % Held by Institut. < 50?  0.5045
50 Da MA > 200 Da MA?      0.4704          % Held by Institut. > 30?  3.0000
52-Wk Change vs. S&P 500:  3.0000          Short Ratio > 5?           0.4000
Price/Book Value < 3?      0.6589          Short % of Float > 20?     0.5405
Return on Assets > 17%?    0.3012          Average Volume > 100,000?  3.0000

Cash Flow Tests:
Oper. C.F. > Lever'd C.F:  0.2866          Positive Free Cash Flow?   3.0000
Positive Oper. Cash Flow?  3.0000          Price to C.F.Ratio < 14?:  0.0000
                                           Cash Flow / Assets > 10%?  0.0000

RCII   Rent-A-Center, Inc.                 Overall Zenith Index:      1.0863


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Financial Statements

RENT-A-CENTER INC  (RCII)                   INCOME STATEMENT

Fiscal year ends in December. USD in thousan         2014-12         2015-12         2016-12         2017-12         2018-12             TTM           

Revenue                                            3,157,796       3,278,420       2,963,252       2,702,540       2,660,465       2,660,465
Cost of revenue                                      973,433       1,160,311       1,028,203         983,998         972,297         972,297
Gross profit                                       2,184,363       2,118,109       1,935,049       1,718,542       1,688,168       1,688,168


Operating expenses
Sales, General and administrative                  1,891,046       1,854,626       1,749,570       1,647,743         846,867         846,867
Other operating expenses                              87,399          80,720          80,456          74,639         785,164         785,164
Total operating expenses                           1,978,445       1,935,346       1,830,026       1,722,382       1,632,031       1,632,031

Operating income                                     205,918         182,763         105,023          -3,840          56,137          56,137
Interest Expense                                      47,843          49,326          47,181          45,996          42,968          42,968
Other income (expense)                               -15,722      -1,190,017        -171,116         -60,364             672             672
Income before taxes                                  142,353      -1,056,580        -113,274        -110,200          13,841          13,841
Provision for income taxes                            45,931        -189,952          -8,079        -116,853           5,349           5,349
Net income from continuing operations                 96,422        -866,628        -105,195           6,653           8,492           8,492
Net income                                            96,422        -866,628        -105,195           6,653           8,492           8,492
Net income available to common shareholders           96,422        -866,628        -105,195           6,653           8,492           8,492

Earnings per share
Basic                                                   1.82          -16.34           -1.98            0.12            0.16            0.16 
Diluted                                                 1.81          -16.34           -1.98            0.12            0.16            0.16 

Weighted average shares outstanding
Basic                                                 52,850          53,050          53,121          53,282          53,471          53,471
Diluted                                               53,126          53,050          53,121          53,844          54,542          54,542

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


RENT-A-CENTER INC  (RCII)                   BALANCE SHEET

Fiscal year ends in December. USD in thousan         2014-12         2015-12         2016-12         2017-12         2018-12             

Assets

Current assets

Cash

Total cash                                            46,126          60,363          95,396          72,968         155,391

Receivables                                           69,515          57,010          55,834          55,516          69,645
Inventories                                        1,242,711       1,141,140       1,005,583         873,016         811,304
Prepaid expenses                                     206,150         171,347          54,989          64,577          51,352
Other current assets                                  -4,023          12,310          13,951          14,307               0
Total current assets                               1,560,479       1,442,170       1,225,753       1,080,384       1,087,692

Non-current assets

Property, plant and equipment
Gross property, plant and equipment                  773,312         813,387         838,529         808,574         778,073
Accumulated Depreciation                            -440,586        -482,448        -522,101        -525,673        -551,750
Net property, plant and equipment                    332,726         330,939         316,428         282,901         226,323

Goodwill                                           1,370,459         206,122          55,308          56,614          56,845
Intangible assets                                      7,533           7,777           5,252             882             499
Deferred income taxes                                      0               0               0               0          25,558
Total non-current assets                           1,710,718         544,838         376,988         340,397         309,225

Total assets                                       3,271,197       1,987,008       1,602,741       1,420,781       1,396,917 

Liabilities and stockholders' equity

Liabilities

Current liabilities
Accounts payable                                     141,878          96,355         108,238          90,352         113,838
Deferred income taxes                                345,299         119,245         173,144          87,081         119,061
Taxes payable                                         20,632          20,081          22,556          27,415          54,508
Accrued liabilities                                  184,971         178,853         189,979         165,818         161,624
Deferred revenues                                     58,880          60,535          58,255          51,742          53,348
Other current liabilities                             87,329          73,084          61,406          53,043          67,979
Total current liabilities                            838,989         548,153         613,578         475,451         570,358

Non-current liabilities
Long-term debt                                     1,042,813         968,373         724,230         672,887         540,042
Total non-current liabilities                      1,042,813         968,373         724,230         672,887         540,042

Total liabilities                                  1,881,802       1,516,526       1,337,808       1,148,338       1,110,400 

Stockholders' equity

Common stock                                           1,094           1,094           1,095           1,097           1,099
Additional paid-in capital                           813,178         818,339         827,107         831,271         838,436
Retained earnings                                  1,927,445       1,009,770         800,640         798,743         805,924
Treasury stock                                    -1,347,677      -1,347,677      -1,347,677      -1,347,677      -1,347,677
Accumulated other comprehensive income                -4,645         -11,044         -16,232         -10,991         -11,265
Total stockholders' equity                         1,389,395         470,482         264,933         272,443         286,517
Total liabilities and stockholders' equity         3,271,197       1,987,008       1,602,741       1,420,781       1,396,917

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


RENT-A-CENTER INC  (RCII)                   Statement of CASH FLOW

Fiscal year ends in December. USD in thousan         2014-12         2015-12         2016-12         2017-12         2018-12             TTM           

Cash Flows From Operating Activities
Net income                                            96,422        -866,628        -105,195           6,653           8,492           8,492
Depreciation & amortization                          766,817         797,862         736,627         696,983         685,586         685,586
Amortization of debt discount/premium and is           3,218           3,126           2,217           4,667               0               0
Investment/asset impairment charges                        0       1,170,000         151,320           1,936          15,085          15,085
Deferred income taxes                                 26,796        -231,710         -32,994         -86,063           6,816           6,816
Stock based compensation                               6,559           9,541           9,209           3,896           5,961           5,961
Change in working capital                           -906,240        -678,774        -426,616        -549,036        -507,309        -507,309
Accounts receivable                                        0               0               0               0         -14,431         -14,431
Inventory                                           -796,672        -622,149        -523,697        -487,130        -569,717        -569,717
Prepaid expenses                                    -130,690          31,636         104,379          -9,622          13,105          13,105
Accounts payable                                      21,440         -45,523          11,883         -17,886          23,486          23,486
Accrued liabilities                                   21,505         -23,650          -3,267         -18,657          40,248          40,248
Other working capital                                -21,823         -19,088         -15,914         -15,741               0               0
Other non-cash items                                  25,541          27,071          19,167          31,497          12,874          12,874
Net cash provided by operating activities             19,113         230,488         353,735         110,533         227,505         227,505

Cash Flows From Investing Activities
Investments in property, plant, and equipmen         -83,785         -80,870         -61,143         -65,460         -27,962         -27,962
Property, plant, and equipment reductions             14,474          15,964           5,262           4,638          25,317          25,317
Acquisitions, net                                    -27,354         -25,170          -3,098          -2,525          -2,048          -2,048
Net cash used for investing activities               -96,665         -90,076         -58,979         -63,347          -4,693          -4,693

Cash Flows From Financing Activities
Debt issued                                          772,860         531,180          52,245         347,635          27,060          27,060
Debt repayment                                      -646,323        -605,620        -286,065        -400,151        -166,358        -166,358
Excess tax benefit from stock based compe                331              86               0               0               0               0
Dividend paid                                        -48,663         -51,011         -25,554         -12,811               0               0
Other financing activities                             4,647           1,485               0          -5,213          -1,014          -1,014
Net cash provided by (used for) financing             82,852        -123,880        -259,374         -70,540        -140,312        -140,312

Effect of exchange rate changes                       -1,448          -2,295            -349             926             -77             -77
Net change in cash                                     3,852          14,237          35,033         -22,428          82,423          82,423
Cash at beginning of period                           42,274          46,126          60,363          95,396          72,968          72,968
Cash at end of period                                 46,126          60,363          95,396          72,968         155,391         155,391

Free Cash Flow
Operating cash flow                                   19,113         230,488         353,735         110,533         227,505         227,505
Capital expenditure                                  -83,785         -80,870         -61,143         -65,460         -27,962         -27,962
Free cash flow                                       -64,672         149,618         292,592          45,073         199,543         199,543
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________





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Average to Current P/E Ratios
              (RCII)     Rent-A-Center Inc.

                               2014    2015    2016    2017    2018

          Annual Earnings:     1.81  -17.97   -1.98    0.12    0.16
Average Price During Year:    28.51   28.53   12.68   10.90   12.18

                P/E Ratio:    15.75    1.59    6.40   90.81   76.13

 Average 5-Year P/E Ratio  =  38.13
             Current Price =  24.87

Previous 5 Quarter Earnings:   0.65   -0.37    0.25    0.24    0.03

          Current Annualized (Last Four Quarters) Earnings =   0.52
                                                           ________
                                 Average PE / Current PE =     0.80
                                                           --------

                                      ...a number above 1.00 is good
                                                1.00 or below is bad


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Financial Ratios

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Intrinsic Value (DCF)

Intrinsic Value by Discounted Cash Flow Method:

Intrinsic Value



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Fair Value Estimator

Fair Value Estimate:

Fair Value



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Projected Earnings

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Analysts' Opinions

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Insider Activity

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Insider Trades
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Institutional Activity

Institutional Orders to Buy or Sell:

institutions 1
Ownership:

institutions 2


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Sentiment

sentiment

Zenith uses the "sentiment" score above or below 50 to award a positive or negative point in the Decision Matrix.

sentiment sentiment sentiment



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Short Interest Ratio

As the short interest rises as a percentage of average daily share volume (Days to Cover), this is considered a measure of negative sentiment. Similarly, a decrease in that percentage is considered positive sentiment.

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Standard & Poor's

S&P Stock Report (Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)



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Management's Discussion of Results of Operations Excerpts

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Channeling Potential

 
The summary below includes a value for `Degree,' which refers on a
scale of 1 to 10 the range of a channel in the period under consi-
deration compared to the total range of price movement. It also looks
for the last closing price to be within the channel, otherwise zeroed.
The `Index' is the `Degree' weighted for volatility.  Generally, the
the higher the index, the more suitable is the stock for trading as
a `rolling stock' between channel high and low points.

Results for RENT-A-CENTER INC.:
Symbol? RCII
Total Months Available:  25
       Months in Cycle?   4

Months Covered by Periods:  12

Period 1           Period 2          Period 3
   H1      L1        H2      L2        H3      L3
  14.94    8.93     14.85   11.98     23.77   14.80

RANGE   =  23.77  TO    8.93            Close =  24.36
CHANNEL =  14.85  TO   14.80           Degree =   0
Volatility =   0.21%                    Index =   0
Channel Chart



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MACD Histogram Divergence

The theory is that connecting the two most recent peaks or valleys of the MACD histogram will signal the direction of the next major move.



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Intraday Chart

2 Days:



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Val Idea

4 out of 8 favorable, (neutral opinion.)

Val Idea


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Stock Consultant

Stock Consultant Stock Consultant


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Point & Figure Chart

P & F Chart


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Wall Street Analyzer



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Marketspace Chart

Marketspace Chart



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Time Series Forecast

Time Series 1 Time Series 2


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Neural Network Prediction

"Neurostock" can only track long trades. Therefore its performance, as tracked by itself on stocks which are consistently falling, may not appear as good as it could if each "sell" signal were a "short sale."

Neural Chart
Heading
Neural Trades Neural Prediction



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Ultimate Trading Systems

3 out of 3 of the ultimate systems favor an upmove.


System Below:
Short term outlook: Positive: Bright Green, Negative: Bright Red
Long term outlook: Postive: Dark Green, Negative: Dark Red.




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Recommendation

Decision Weighting Factors
FactorsWeighted Points
News - 1
Comparison - 1
Industry + 1
Bond Issue + 1
Zenith Index - 1
Non-GAAP vs. GAAP Earnings + 1
Cash Flow + 1
Average to Current P/E - 1
Ratios + 1
Intrinsic Value DCF + 1
Fair Value Estimator - 1
Projected Earnings + 1
Research Reports + 1
Analysts - 1
Executive Perquisites + 1
Insider Activity - 1
Institutional Activity - 1
Management Reporting + 1
Short Interest - 1
Sentiment + 1
Standard & Poor's + 1
MACD Histogram Divergence + 1
Val Idea 0
Stock Consultant - 1
Point & Figure + 1
Wall Street Analyzer + 1
Marketspace Chart + 1
Time Series Chart + 1
Neural Network + 1
Stock Options + 1
Ultimate Trading Systems + 1
Total + 10
Place 1,205 shares of Rent-A-Center, Inc. (RCII) on the Active List.