UPDATE 2-Cash America Q4 beats Street, sees strong Q1

* Q4 EPS $1.09 vs est $0.98

* Q4 rev up 16 pct to $323.7 million

* Sees Q1 EPS of $0.89-$0.98

* Expects profitability in Aus, Can ops in 2011

* Merchandise rev up 9 pct
(Adds conference call details, updates share movement)

Jan 28 (BestGrowthStock) – Pawn and payday lender Cash America
International Inc (CSH.N: ) reported quarterly earnings above
estimates, helped by strong performance from its pawn-lending
business, and forecast first-quarter profit (Read more your timing to make a profit.) above Wall Street

On a post-earnings conference call, the company said it
expects its Australian and Canadian operations to show
profitability in 2011.

Cash America said it expects to expand in other Canadian
provinces outside Ontario and British Columbia in the first
half of 2010.

For the first quarter, the company said it expects earnings
of 89 cents to 94 cents per share.

Analysts on average were expecting earnings of 85 cents a
share, excluding items, for the first quarter, according to
Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

For the latest fourth quarter, net income more than doubled
to $33.7 million, or $1.09 a share, from $16.3 million, or 54
cents a share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose 16 percent to $323.7 million.

Analysts on average had expected a profit of 98 cents a
share, before special items, on revenue of $304.8 million.

“We emphasized the sale of merchandise at our retail
locations and the liquidation of gold through the open market,”
Chief Executive Daniel Feehan said in a statement.

Sales of merchandise rose 9 percent to $148 million while
cash advance fees rose 21 percent to $108.7 million.

Payday lenders, who make small, short-term loans against
the borrower’s next pay check, are investing more in their pawn
operations as stricter regulations and rising unemployment make
their primary business less attractive.

On Wednesday, smaller rival First Cash Financial Services
Inc (FCFS.O: ) posted a better-than-expected profit and forecast
2010 earnings almost in line with market expectations.

Cash America shares were up 1 percent at $36.20 in morning
trade Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange, while shares of
First Cash were down 1 percent at $22.97 on Nasdaq.

Stock Market Trading
(Reporting by Jochelle Mendonca in Bangalore; Editing by
Unnikrishnan Nair and Gopakumar Warrier)

UPDATE 2-Cash America Q4 beats Street, sees strong Q1