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ATLANTA-Executives at rent-to-own chain Aaron Rents don’t think the chain will hit its initial target of 250 store openings this year, falling short by 50 to 75 units. The new stores are now set to open next year, due to construction delays.

The slowdown will likely lead to higher operating costs in the back half of the fiscal year, says R. Charles Loudermilk, the company’s chairman and chief executive officer. Revenues for the third quarter, which the retailer will report Oct. 24, are forecast to rise 13%, while same-store sales are predicted to jump 5% year over year.

Management now predicts that earnings per share will fall in the low range of their 37-cent forecast, or a bit below. The company is also seeing rental collections coming in a bit slower, but Loudermilk says he expects that situation to stabilize, as well as operating-cost pressure when new stores open.

During its second quarter, the Aaron Rents’ same-store revenues rose 5%, on a total sales increase of 12%, to $359 million. Earnings per share in the quarter rose to 39 cents from 36 cents during the same year-ago period.

When reporting sales results in July, the company was still on track to open 250 stores for the year. To date, Aaron Rents operates 1,450 units in 48 states.

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