Low-end lender only for the aggressive

Article Excerpt

ACE CASH EXPRESS INC. $25 (Nasdaq symbol AACE; WSSF Rating: Speculative) has agreed to pay $36 million for 111 Popular Cash Express stores. That will give it about 1,500 stores that offer check cashing, loans-till-payday and other financial services. ACE also plans to spend $5 million over two years on store upgrades. The purchase should add $0.28 a share to ACE’s annual earnings. To put that in perspective, ACE earned $0.21 a share (total $2.9 million) in its first fiscal quarter ended September 30, 2005, down 43.2% from $0.37 a share ($5.1 million) a year earlier. However, the most recent earnings included $0.07 a share in Hurricane Katrina writedowns and losses. Revenue rose 6.8%, to $66.2 million from $62.0 million. ACE Cash Express is a buy, but only for aggressive investors. investors…

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