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Why Shares of PRA Group Inc. Are Plunging Today

By Jordan Wathen – May 10, 2016 at 11:31AM

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Shares of the debt collector are slumping on an earnings miss.

What: Shares of PRA Group (PRAA -1.20%) are down nearly 19% as of 10:45 a.m. ET on Tuesday after the company announced disappointing earnings results for the first quarter of 2016.

So what: PRA Group Inc reported non-GAAP diluted earnings per share of $0.85 for the first quarter, missing the consensus estimate compiled by Thompson Reuters of $0.95 per share.

The company also missed analyst expectations for cash collections from its portfolio of receivables. PRA Group noted on its conference call that "legal collection performance has suffered delays and some loss of inventory relating to regulatory and legislative events including state law changes."

PRA Group believes that new processes should help it reduce its collection times through legal channels. It noted that the "average month of legal recovery is month 18" and that it expects "to see that number come down" in the future.

Now what: Executives remain hopeful that an uptick in portfolio activity and decline in collection times may allow the company to stem declining revenue and profits. They highlighted an improving pipeline to acquire portfolios in Europe, while noting that opportunities are scarce in the United States as large sellers are absent from the market. 

The son of PRA Group's CEO is currently employed by The Motley Fool. Jordan Wathen has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends PRA Group. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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