Pawn and payday lender Ezcorp misses estimates

Tue Jul 24, 2012 5:05pm EDT

* Sees FY profit at lower end of expected range

* Q3 EPS $0.56 vs est $0.61

* Q3 rev $$229 mln vs est $239.6 mln

July 24 (Reuters) - Pawn and payday lender Ezcorp Inc's quarterly profit missed analysts' expectations for the third time in a row on moderating gold prices and as fewer people pawned the yellow metal in the United States.

The company also said it expects its full-year earnings to be at the lower end of its previously announced range of $2.85 to $2.95 per share.

Analysts on average are expecting the company to earn $2.89 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Ezcorp , which provides short-term cash to cash and credit constrained consumers, has a market capitalization of $1.24 billion.

Fewer purchases of gold, coupled with less jewelry forfeited from its pawn lending operations, resulted in a 26 percent fall in same-store jewelry scrapping sales and a 19 percent same-store decrease in jewelry merchandise sales.

Net earnings rose to $28.5 million, or 56 cents per share, in the third quarter from $26.5 million, or 53 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue jumped 13 percent $229 million.

Analysts had expected Ezcorp to earn 61 cents per share on revenue of $239.6 million.

Ezcorp's shares, which have fallen about 6 percent in the last three months, closed at $23.73 on Tuesday on the Nasdaq.

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