(Adds preliminary sales details, shares)
April 9 (Reuters) - Rent-A-Center Inc said on Monday it expects to reach a decision by the second quarter on whether its talks with bidders would result in a sale of the rent-to-own furniture retailer.
The company, which has been under pressure from its shareholders Engaged Capital and Marcato Capital to sell itself, has previously rejected buyout offers.
Rent-A-Center said it expects same-store sales in the U.S. to rise 0.3 percent for the first quarter, driven by higher rent collections due to lower promotional activity.
The company's comparable-store sales have not risen in the past two years, but are now expected to rise 0.9 percent in the first quarter, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The Plano, Texas-based company also said that it has exceeded its cost-saving expectations, helping it reduce debt by over $75 million.
Shares of the company, which has lost 75 percent of its value since the start of 2015, were up 3.2 percent at $9.83 in early trading on Monday.
The company has a market value of about $510 million, as of Friday's close. (Reporting by Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)