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Why Shares of Avis Budget Group and Hertz Global Holdings Are Popping Thursday

By Daniel Miller – Feb 22, 2018 at 12:40PM

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A strong fourth quarter and upbeat 2018 guidance from Avis were enough to send its shares, and even shares of Hertz, higher today.

What happened?

Shares of Avis Budget Group Inc. (CAR -0.50%), a provider of vehicle rental and car-sharing services through its Avis, Budget, and Zipcar brands, were up 13% as of noon EST, after the company announced strong fourth-quarter results.

So what

Avis' top-line revenue jumped 7% during the fourth quarter to $2.0 billion, and up to $8.8 billion for full-year 2017. The company's adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) jumped an even more impressive 16% to $140 million, and adjusted diluted earnings per share checked in at $0.45 during the fourth quarter. The strong results were driven by better pricing in the Americas, controlling costs and rising overall rental days.

In fact, the results were strong enough that Hertz Global Holdings, Inc. (HTZG.Q) shares were up 20% as of noon EST, ahead of its own earnings report due Feb. 27, 2018.

"Looking forward, I believe we have substantial opportunities to leverage technology to both improve our customers' experience and drive efficiencies throughout our organization, and will continue to position ourselves to benefit from the evolving mobility landscape," said Larry De Shon, Avis Budget Group president and CEO, in a press release.

Waymo vehicle with autonomous technology parked in front of an Avis store

Image source: Avis Budget Group.

Now what

Management has done well positioning Avis for a changing landscape, with its car-sharing Zipcar brand, and a partnership with Waymo to service some of its autonomous-driving fleet. But the guidance is upbeat for 2018 -- adjusted net income and adjusted diluted EPS are expected to jump 14% and 17%, respectively, this year compared to 2017. And that's giving investors confidence that Avis' business can still be strong in the near term, while it adapts to a future of smart-mobility projects and autonomous vehicles.

Daniel Miller has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

Avis Budget Group, Inc. Stock Quote
Avis Budget Group, Inc.
$138.25 (-0.50%) $0.70
Hertz Global Holdings, Inc. Stock Quote
Hertz Global Holdings, Inc.

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