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MarketWatch MarketPulseApr 22, 2019
Rent-A-Center's stock soars on $92.5 million settlement deal, Raymond James upgrade
Shares of Rent-A-Center Inc. shot up 4.8% in premarket trade Monday, after the rent-to-own company said it will receive $92.5 million in cash after settling all litigation with Vintage Capital Management LLC and B. Riley Financial Inc. related to the company's termination of its merger deal with Vintage. The company expects proceeds of $80 million from the settlement after payment of costs and fees. Separately, Raymond James analyst Budd Bugatch raised his rating to strong buy from outperform, which makes him the only analyst of the 8 surveyed by FactSet to have a bullish rating. "It is unmistakably clear--reinforced by our recent efforts--that the financial performance and strength of Rent-A-Center (RAC) has improved significantly from the depths of the past few years and continues to improve," Bugatch wrote in a note to clients. He's also upbeat on the recent court decision to validate the termination of the merger deal and that fact that management is working to restructure and refinance its high-cost debt by mid-2019. The stock is on track to open at the highest closing level seen since October 2015. It has more than doubled the past year (up 122%) while the S&P 500 has gained 8.8%.

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