It may not be putting the pedal to the metal, but at least Zipcar
The country's leading car-sharing service posted another healthy quarterly report last night. Revenue climbed 24% to $68.1 million, in line with Wall Street's expectations. Zipcar membership topped 650,000 drivers, 25% higher than it was a year earlier. Zipcar managed to post a profit of $0.02 a share, ahead of the small deficit that analysts were targeting. Adjusted EBITDA climbed 59% to $4.6 million.
The fundamentals also continue to improve. Revenue generated per car in its fleet clocked in at $65 a day, 8% ahead of where it was a year ago. It continues to be a BMOC -- Big Motor on Campus -- adding a presence in 36 new colleges and universities to top more than 250 schools.
There are no signs of auto-sharing being a passing lane fad. Its four original markets -- with Boston, San Francisco, New York, and Washington, D.C., accounting for 58% of revenue -- grew revenue at a 23% clip. Pre-tax profit margins did narrow slightly in those established markets, partly as a result of Hurricane Irene's disruptive ways.
Zipcar's guidance is calling for sequential dips. The undisputed niche leader is targeting revenue of $62 million to $64 million, and $4 million to $5 million in adjusted EBITDA. Zipcar sees its bottom line coming in between a loss of $0.5 million and a profit of $0.5 million.
Don't panic. This is a seasonal business. Sequential dips heading into the chilly late fall and early winter months are historically consistent. Analyst estimates are pegged at breakeven results on $63.9 million in revenue.
There's clearly an opportunity here. Enterprise and Hertz
There are also companies pioneering peer-to-peer models where drivers get paid to loan out their cars when they're sitting idle in the driveway. It's an iffy proposition, but leader RelayRides got a major boost when General Motors
These are interesting times, as the high costs of auto ownership and urbanization trends continue to play into the car-sharing movement. Zipcar's is for real -- and it's driving right at you.
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