Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What: Shares of Portfolio Recovery Associates (Nasdaq: PRAA ) , a company that collects and manages portfolios of defaulted consumer receivables (as its name implies), spiked 10.5% earlier in the trading day after reporting better-than-expected first-quarter results.
So what: For the quarter, Portfolio Recovery highlighted a 25% jump in revenue to $140.1 million due to 31% increase in cash collections. Overall profit clocked in at $1.47, 10% higher than the year earlier. This compared favorably to Wall Street's EPS estimate of just $1.32 with revenue also coming in higher than expected. The biggest boost to the company's bottom line was its move into legal collections, which saw cash collections increase by 42% over last year.
Now what: No one likes a debt collector, but collection management services often make for very sound businesses. With a five-year expected growth rate of 14% and the company trading at just nine times forward earnings, it's not unreasonable to expect that its stock could continue to head higher.
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