Debt buyer Portfolio Recovery Associates (PRA), based in Norfolk, Va., reported Tuesday that its board approved a three-for-one-stock split by way of a dividend. The split is the first stock split in this manner since the company's initial public offering in 2002.

Stockholders would receive two additional shares of company stock for everyone share held at the close of business on July 1. The additional shares would be distributed on or about August 1.

Steve Fredrickson, chairman, president and CEO of PRA stated: "PRA experienced strong financial results in the first quarter of 2013, following record growth in 2012. As we continue to buy a growing amount of unsecured and secured consumer debt, while better connecting with a growing number of customers ready to pay down their debt, PRA is poised to sustain growth in the years ahead."

The company last month reported that its first-quarter profits soared 52% from the year before as it continued to expand its reach nationally and in the United Kingdom. PRA posted net income of $38.6 million in the quarter, up 52% from $25.5 million in the year-ago period.

Fredrickson noted the company had acquired $414 million in new accounts over the previous six months - and collected $275.5 million in the first quarter, 26% more than in the first quarter of 2012. 

The company acquired $214.9 million in portfolios in the quarter, including $126.9 million of U.S. customer accounts and $1.4 million of UK accounts. It also bought an additional 19% interest in Claims Compensation Bureau LLC, a Conshohocken, Pa.-based company that helps clients recover class-action claims, and now owns 81% of that company.

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