Ezcorp Inc. is engaged in establishing, acquiring, and operating pawnshops which function as convenient sources of consumer credit and as value-oriented specialty retailers of primarily previously owned merchandise. Through its lending function, the company makes relatively small, non-recourse loans secured by pledges of tangible personal property. The company contracts for a pawn service charge to compensate it for each pawn loan. Ezcorp Inc. has a market cap of $802.6 million; its shares were traded at around $16.48 with a P/E ratio of 11.8 and P/S ratio of 1.3. Ezcorp Inc. had an annual average earning growth of 35.8% over the past 5 years.
Highlight of Business Operations:While allowable service charges vary by state and loan size, a majority of our U.S. pawn loans earn 20% per month. The pawn loan amount varies depending on the valuation of the item pawned, but our average U.S. pawn loan amount typically ranges between $80 and $120. The total U.S. loan term, consisting of the primary term and a grace period, is 60 days in most locations, but ranges up to 120 days in some states. In Mexico, pawn service charges range from 13% to 20% per month, but a majority of our pawn loans earn 18%, net of applicable taxes. The total Mexico pawn loan term is 40 days, consisting of the primary term and a grace period. In fiscal 2007, 2008 and 2009, approximately 77%, 79% and 79% of our pawn loans were redeemed in full or were renewed or extended through the payment of accrued pawn service charges.
Collateral for our pawn loans consists of tangible personal property, generally jewelry, consumer electronics, tools, sporting goods and musical instruments. Approximately 65% of our pawn loan collateral is jewelry, and the vast majority of that is gold jewelry. We do not evaluate the creditworthiness of a pawn customer, but rely on the estimated resale value of the collateral and the perceived probability of the loans redemption. We generally lend from 25% to 65% of the pledged propertys estimated resale value depending on an evaluation of these factors. The sources of information we use to determine the resale value of collateral include our computerized valuation software, gold values, internet retail and auction sites, catalogues, newspaper advertisements and previous sales of similar merchandise.
Pawn loan forfeitures constitute the primary source of inventory for our retail sales activities, although we also purchase and resell pre-owned merchandise from customers and some new merchandise from third-party vendors. The gross profit on sales of inventory depends primarily on our assessment of the loan or purchase value at the time the property is either accepted as loan collateral or purchased. Improper value assessment in the lending or purchasing process can result in lower margins or reduced marketability of the merchandise. During fiscal 2007, 2008 and 2009, we realized gross margins on sales of 39%, 40% and 37%.
For fiscal 2007, 2008 and 2009, retail activities and jewelry scrapping (sales of precious metals and gemstones to refiners and gemstone wholesalers) accounted for approximately 52%, 51% and 54% of our total revenues, or 33% of our net revenues in each year, after deducting the cost of goods sold. As a significant portion of our inventory and sales involve gold jewelry, our results can be heavily influenced by the market price of gold, which has increased over the past several years. This is particularly true for gold scrapping, which comprised 27% of total sales in fiscal 2007, 33% in fiscal 2008 and 37% in fiscal 2009.
Auto title loans Auto title loans are 30-day loans collateralized by the titles to customers automobiles. The principal amount of an auto title loan can be up to $9,000, but averages about $700. Loan amounts are established based on customers income levels, an inspection of the automobile and title and reference to market values of used automobiles. For each auto title loan, we charge a fee of 12.5% to 25% of the loan amount.
In our Texas stores, we do not offer signature loan or auto title loan products themselves, but offer fee-based credit services to customers seeking loans. In these locations, we act as a credit services organization (or CSO) on behalf of customers in accordance with applicable state laws, and offer advice and assistance to customers in obtaining loans from unaffiliated lenders. Our services include arranging loans with independent third-party lenders, assisting in the preparation of loan applications and loan documents, and accepting loan payments for the lenders. We do not make, fund or participate in the loans made by the lenders, but we assist customers in obtaining credit and enhance their creditworthiness by issuing a letter of credit to guarantee the customers payment obligations to the independent third-party lender. For credit services in connection with arranging a payday loan (average loan amount of about $550), our fee is 20% of the loan amount. For credit services in connection with arranging an installment loan (average loan amount of about $2,100), our fee is 10% of the initial loan
Read the The complete ReportEZPW is in the portfolios of Chuck Royce of ROYCE & ASSOCIATES.