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EZCorp shares drop as it shys from payday loans, focuses on pawn …

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Nick Simonite/ABJ

EZCorp has seen a lot of changes at the executive level as the company tries to right ship.

Digital Editor- Austin Business Journal
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Shares of EZCorp Inc. slid about 10 percent Tuesday after the company announced it planned to largely shutter its lucrative, but increasingly scrutinized, online payday loan business operations in the U.S. and the U.K.

EZCorp (Nasdaq: EZPW) shares were trading at $8.96 Wednesday morning in pre-market activity, roughly 10 percent below the approximately $10 share price at the close of markets Monday.

Early Monday evening, officials at the Austin-based pawn shop and payday loan company said they would be exiting, either by sale or draw down, from its Cash Genie online payday loan operation in Great Britain, and a similar U.S.-focused online payday loan operation called EZOnline, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In its filing, the company highlighted increasing government regulation of the payday loan industry — and its expected impact on revenue streams from such online payday loans — as one of the primary reasons for exiting the industry and focusing on its core pawn shop business. The company is cutting a total of 149 positions relating to those businesses in the coming months.

EZCorp has gone through significant corporate overhaul since July, when shareholders installed a new CEO and a new CFO to try and change the course of the company.

Michael Theis is the Austin Business Journal’s digital editor.

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