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Why Shares of Avis Budget Group Stock Accelerated Last Week

By Nickey Friedman – Mar 24, 2014 at 11:30AM

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A press release from Avis Budget Group jumpstarted the momentum.

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

Last week, shares of car rental company Avis Budget Group (CAR -0.76%) were driven in the fast lane by over 8% following a press release on Monday, March 17 unveiling its latest initiative to get customers into their cars more quickly.

So what?
Avis Budget is now offering an "Express Lane" option for customers who pay in advance on either the or websites. It is expected that these customers can both check out more quickly when they return their vehicles and also get into their vehicles faster when they first rent them.

Avis Budget Group claims this will save customers both time and money. The company has made enhancements to its websites and mobile applications to help drive more traffic and improve the user experience.

Now what?
This wasn't exactly the biggest blockbuster news of the decade, but it was apparently enough to spark momentum. The press release came out at 11am, and the stock took off from there almost immediately and continued most of the week.

Avis Budget Group stock has been trading at new all-time highs since posting better-than-expected fourth quarter results a month ago that beat analyst expectations by 25% with $0.15 per share compared to the $0.12 estimate. It would seem the market was looking for any excuse to continue the rally, and it got it with the most recent development.

It certainly isn't bad news. Avis Budget is currently offering this service to 100 locations, and it's reasonable to speculate that this number will increase in the future. This will give the company a competitive advantage especially among business people who are on a time crunch as well as people renting cars at airports. One of the worst things that can happen is a delay at the rental facility causing you to end up late for your meeting or worse missing your flight. This alleviates the risk.

With Avis Budget trading at 18 times 2014 analyst estimated earnings and 14 times 2015 estimated earnings, Fools may want to take a closer look at the company. As long as the economy holds up and continues to support the need for car rentals, Avis Budget may represent a compelling growth and value story.

Nickey Friedman has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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