Jefferies upgraded Cash America (PWN) to buy from hold.
Analyst Richard Shane says given the relatively immature, highly unconsolidated nature of payday lending, he thinks it represents one of the most attractive opportunities for lenders. He says Cash America's prospects should benefit from entering the seasonally strongest two quarters, strong gold prices, favorable exchange rates, and an improved regulatory environment.
As one of the largest, best capitalized public companies pursuing this market, he thinks Cash America can achieve 20%+ earnings per share growth over the three-to five-year horizon. He sees $1.04 2003 earnings per share, and raised the $1.20 2004 estimate to $1.35.