February 14, 2011 / 9:41 PM / 8 years ago

Encore Capital Q4 profit tops Wall Street

Feb 14 (Reuters) - Debt collector Encore Capital Group Inc’s (ECPG.O) quarterly profit beat market expectations by a huge margin, helped by a rise in gross collections.

The company earned $14.2 million, or 56 cents a share, compared to $8.4 million, or 34 cents a share, a year ago.

Revenue rose 22 percent to $99.7 million, while gross collections rose 20 percent.

Analysts on average had expected a profit of 47 cents a share, on revenue of $97.23 million, excluding items, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Debt collection companies buy troubled consumer debt portfolios sold by banks and other institutions and try to get borrowers to repay at least in part.

The company, which has increased its overall debt capacity, also said it obtained additional $50 million in commitments from lenders and exercised half of its $100 million accordion feature.

The San Diego, California-based company’s shares, which have gained 17 percent in value since it posted strong third-quarter results, closed up 2 percent at $23.60 on Monday on Nasdaq.

Reporting by Rachel Chitra in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier

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