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01/23/2014

Cash America earnings rise in fourth quarter

Cash America International, the Fort Worth-based operator of pawn shops and other consumer lending outlets, said it earned $27.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2013, or 91 cents a share. That was up from $24.5 million a year earlier. After adjustments for unusual items, the company said it earned $1.01 a share, just ahead of Wall Street's consensus estimate of 99 cents. Cash America's shares (ticker: CSH) were up more than 1percent in early trading.

Included in those unusual items was a $5 million penalty levied by the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau related to the company's practices collecting unpaid loans in Ohio. The CFPB found that Cash America mishandled court documents and overcharged military personnel on loans. Also among the charges was $865,000 to cover the cost of closing 28 consumer loan offices in Texas during the quarter. In its outlook for 2014, the company said it expected to earn between $1.15 and $1.25 a share in the year's first quarter, compared to $1.40 a year earlier and analysts' estimates averaging $1.18. It said it  expects to earn $4.20 to $4.40 a share for the full year, compared to adjusted earnings of $4.04 in 2013 and analysts' consensus estimate of $4.27.

-- Jim Fuquay

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