Thursday, June 25, 2015

Seeking Alpha: Trying To Assess The EZCORP Black Box

"And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

It has to be some sort of karmic justice that within less than a week of me finally feeling positively inclined toward EZCORP (NASDAQ:EZPW), the company took a significant backward step in terms of corporate governance and shareholder confidence. That was only the start of the trouble, though, as the company has struggled amid a difficult pawn environment in the U.S. and ongoing pressures on the payday lending industry.

The multiple management shakeups at EZCORP haven't done wonders for investor confidence, but I can't argue with the overall direction that the company has laid out for getting itself back onto a better financial trajectory. Unfortunately, investors are still waiting to hear about fiscal second quarter earnings and the results of a review of the Grupo Finmart operations in Mexico - a review that has at least the potential to mark yet another troubled acquisition in EZCORP's history.

Valuation is an exercise in guesswork right now. I can say that low single-digit revenue growth from the FY 2014 starting point and the eventual attainment of double-digit FCF margins can support a fair value of $12 today even with a steep discount rate. Likewise, balance sheet-based metrics that attempt to value EZCORP on the basis of tangible book and/or future returns on equity support a valuation range between $9.50 to $11.

Click here for the full article:
Trying To Assess The EZCORP Black Box

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