What happened

Shares of Hertz Global Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:HTZ), an automotive vehicle rental service known for brands such as Hertz, Dollar, Thrifty, and Firefly, are down 9.5% as of 11:20 a.m. EST after the company released disappointing fourth-quarter earnings and guidance.

So what

Total revenue climbed to $2.09 billion, from the prior year's $2.01 billion mark, and even topped analysts' estimates calling for $2.06 billion. The bottom line, however, fell short of expectations, with adjusted earnings checking in at a loss of $0.77 per share, instead of $0.60.

"The Company's top priority in 2017 was to design and launch an operational improvement plan that would drive sustainable, profitable revenue growth," said Kathryn V. Marinello, Hertz president and CEO, in a press release. "In the first half of the year, we right-sized our fleet and began upgrading vehicle quality, redesigned operating processes, including our Ultimate Choice offering, and deployed smart systems for revenue management. In the second half, our performance reflected positive momentum against these initiatives."

A sign that says Car Rental in yellow letters, with a black arrow to its left.

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

It was certainly a discouraging fourth quarter, especially since shares of Hertz jumped by double digits on Feb. 22, 2018, after Avis Budget Group Inc. (NASDAQ:CAR) released stronger-than-expected numbers for the fourth quarter. These results are what investors can expect throughout 2018 as the company keeps its focus on investing in its U.S. operations and aiming for a more competitive earnings performance in 2019.