Why World Acceptance Corp. Shares Jumped

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of World Acceptance , a credit services company that provides short-term and medium-term consumer loans, as well as income tax preparation and filing services, jumped by as much as 13% after reporting its third-quarter-earnings results before the opening bell.

So what: For the quarter, World Acceptance delivered a 7% increase in total revenue to $160.5 million as EPS advanced 25% to $1.98. Comparatively speaking, Wall Street had been looking for just $1.75 in quarterly EPS (so this was quite a thumping), but revenue came in about $1.9 million short of the consensus estimate. World Acceptance's CEO, Sandy McLean, notes that state law changes in Texas, Georgia, and Indiana helped improve interest and fee income during the quarter, while an aggressive share repurchase program boosted the company's bottom line. Furthermore, gross loans outstanding increased by 7% to $1.26 billion as of Dec. 31, 2013.

Now what: It can always be a little bit of an adventure come earnings season for World Acceptance, with the company having missed estimates in three of the previous four quarters. Generally speaking, though, this was a decent report with gross loans rising and its return on average equity rising 400 basis points to 30% from the year-ago period. One factor investors may want to keep their eyes on, though, is the number of consumers who are delinquent on their loans by 61 or more days. This figure rose from 4.3% to 5% over the past year and required World Acceptance to boost its loan loss provision by 10% in the third quarter. If rising delinquencies becomes a trend, even World Acceptance's single-digit P/E wouldn't be enough to entice me to buy.

World Acceptance may be soaring today, but it could have a hard time keeping up with our top stock for 2014
There's a huge difference between a good stock and a stock that can make you rich. The Motley Fool's chief investment officer has selected his No. 1 stock for 2014, and it's one of those stocks that could make you rich. You can find out which stock it is in the special free report "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2014." Just click here to access the report and find out the name of this under-the-radar company.

The article Why World Acceptance Corp. Shares Jumped originally appeared on Fool.com.

Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong, track every pick he makes under the screen name TrackUltraLong, and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle @TMFUltraLong.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.

Copyright © 1995 - 2014 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Read Full Story