Why EZCORP Shares Plunged

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 pawn-shop operator EZCORP (Nasdaq: EZPW  ) sank 14% today after its full-year outlook disappointed Wall Street.

So what: EZCORP's fourth-quarter results managed to top estimates -- EPS of $0.75 on revenue of $258.4 million versus the consensus of $0.72 and $257 million -- but downbeat full-year guidance reinforces concerns over slowing growth going forward. Management blamed the dim outlook on continued weakness in the gold marketplace and regulatory pressures in Texas, forcing analysts to discount even more uncertainty into the valuation.

Now what: Management now sees first-quarter EPS of $0.55-$0.60 and $2.55-$2.80 for 2013, well below Wall Street's estimate of $0.82 and $3.22. "While we have doubled our revenues and net income over the last three years, we expect 2013 to be a year of investment to position the Company to again double in size over the next four to five years," CEO Paul Rothamel said. "We expect these investments to propel the Company to double digit revenue and net income growth in fiscal 2014 and beyond." With the stock hitting a new 52-week low today -- down about 30% over just the past six months -- and trading at a paltry single-digit P/E, now might even be a good time to buy into that long-term optimism.

Interested in more info on EZCORP? Add it to your watchlist.


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