The core pawn business at First Cash Financial (NASDAQ:FCFS) has definitely slowed, with weak conditions in both Mexico and the U.S. That the company has managed this better than most of its rivals is not all that much comfort, particularly as weaker scrap and retail margins coupled with higher store expenses has actually led to shrinking operating income.
The good news is that conditions may be already starting to improve in Mexico. Discount retailers are seeing improving traffic and are starting to pull back on more aggressive discounting, while consumer confidence and job growth are back on the way up. This may not be a sharp rebound year for First Cash, and investors are likely getting restless in...
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